Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Whole Foods markets - leading the charge against GM

If you think that the US has dragged the anchor in regards to labeling of food containing GM ingredients and were disappointed by the defeat of Proposition 37 (California’s recent attempt to ensure all GM-containing foods appropriately labelled) you’ll be heartened to know that the massive Whole Foods Market chain has promised to have mandatory GM-labeling on all its products by 2018.
OK, so 2018 is a hell of a long way down the track, but there’s other encouraging news. At the moment, 22 US states are debating the need for GM-labeling, and as these state-level initiatives proliferate, the Natural Products Association (NPA) has called for all foods containing GMOs to be “accurately labeled under a national uniform standard so consumers can make educated decisions about foods they purchase”.

It seems that consumers are finally waking up to the need to know exactly what they are eating and if the regulatory and governing bodies don’t have the guts or the will to change the legislation, the grass-roots movements are prepared to take action. 
Co-CEO of Whole Foods Markets sums it up."This is an issue whose time has come. With cases like horse meat discovered in the U.K., plastic in milk in China, the recalls of almond and peanut butter in the U.S., customers have a fundamental right to know what's in their food ... 'The government has not been willing to take on this issue, so it's going to have to happen differently.”
While the move by a group like Whole Foods, purveyors of fresh, whole, organic, ready-to-eat and packaged produce through hundreds of mega stores across the US might be anticipated, their move must surely be echoed by other chains such as Wal-Mart and Walgreens. It seems that commercial interests are well-served by labeling of GM produce, with up to 15 percent increase in sales of products stating “non-GMO”. In a tight, very competitive market, those gains can’t be ignored. More power to Whole Foods, but also to those producers who have to work very hard to keep their crops free from GM contamination.

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