Last week Whole Foods made a smart decision. The health food chain announced that they will begin labeling all genetically modified foods and by the year 2018. Kudos to them!
“Today, we stood up for the consumer’s right to know by announcing that all products in our US and Canadian stores containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) must be clearly labeled within five years. We heard our customers loud and clear asking us for GMO labeling and we are responding where we have control: in our own stores.
We are the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO transparency. By 2018, we will require our supplier partners to label products containing GMO ingredients, and we will work in collaboration with them as they transition to sourcing non-GMO ingredients or to clearly labeling products with ingredients containing GMOs.”
They predict that most of their suppliers will comply long before the 5 year deadline is up and the Whole Foods 365 brand is already nearly fully labeled. They are doing this even though Prop 37, that would have required GMO labeling for all foods sold in the state did not pass in California last year. Fortunately they realize the importance of letting consumers know which foods have GMOs.
Chances are, many of the foods in your pantry are genetically engineered because up to 80% of processed food in the U.S. contain genetically engineered ingredients. At least 85% of corn, canola and sugar beets are grown from GMO seeds. Soy and papaya are also often from genetically modified crops. There is no conclusive verdict on the the safety of GMOs but there are no set safety standards and there is significant scientific evidence that shows they are harmful and pose health risks including antibiotic resistance, endocrine disruption, reproductive disorders, organ damage, allergen exposure and accelerated aging – uh, no thank you! If you want to avoid GMOs go organic. The USDA certification of organic foods ensure that they are not bio-engineered in any way.
Thank you Whole foods for looking out for your customers, I hope all grocery stores follow suit and begin labeling all foods containing GMOs because consumers have the right to know what is in the food we spend our money on, whether it’s a law or not.