Video: This is the Biggest, Best News We’ve Had in a Year.

Via on Mar 8, 2013

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Update: Walk the Talk Show: On the Road at Expo West: Day 1. Day Two coming tomorrow morning.

Walk the Talk Show got the exclusive (for now) first interview with Whole Foods re their earth-loving announcement this morning…which spells imminent death for consumer confusion re GMOS:

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We first heard about the news via longtime friend, mentor and colleague Sylvia Tawse of Fresh Ideas Group, who we’re working with out here in Anaheim at Natural Products Expo West.

> For more: coverage on Huffington Post.

> Thorough coverage on NY Times.

 

The Press Release.

Whole Foods Market commits to full GMO transparency.

Company supports consumer’s right to know by setting five-year deadline for labeling GMOs.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (March 8, 2013) Whole Foods Market announced today at Natural Products Expo West that, by 2018, all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores1 must be labeled to indicate whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)2. Whole Foods Market is the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO transparency.

“We are putting a stake in the ground on GMO labeling to support the consumer’s right to know,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “The prevalence of GMOs in the U.S. paired with nonexistent mandatory labeling makes it very difficult for retailers to source non-GMO options and for consumers to choose non-GMO products. Accordingly, we are stepping up our support of certified organic agriculture, where GMOs are not allowed, and we are working together with our supplier partners to grow our non-GMO supply chain to ensure we can continue to provide these choices in the future.”

Whole Foods Market has been collaborating with many of its supplier partners for several years to source products without GMO ingredients. In 2009, the company began putting its 365 Everyday Value™line through Non-GMO Project™ verification and encouraged its grocery supplier partners to do the same. Whole Foods Market currently sells 3,300 Non-GMO Project verified products from 250 brands, more than any other retailer in North America. It will now expand this effort, working with suppliers in all categories as they transition to ingredients from non-GMO sources, or clearly label products containing GMOs by the five-year deadline. Whole Foods Market will make announcements about progress and key milestones along the way.

 “We’re responding to our customers, who have consistently asked us for GMO labeling and we are doing so by focusing on where we have control: in our own stores,” said Robb.

GMOs are now part of an ongoing national conversation, thanks to efforts of various advocacy groups such as JustLabelIt.org and to individual states considering their own mandatory labeling laws, like the efforts that are now underway in Washington state. “Whole Foods Market supports that measure and looks forward to supporting other state efforts that may finally lead to one uniform set of national standards,” said Robb. “While we are encouraged by the many mandatory labeling initiatives, we are committed to moving forward with our own GMO transparency plan now.”

“We have always believed that quality and transparency are inseparable and that providing detailed information about the products we offer—such as 5-Step Animal Welfare ratings in meat, Eco Scale rated cleaning products in grocery, stringent wild and farm-raised standards in seafood, and now labeling GMOs throughout the store—is part of satisfying and delighting the millions of people who place their trust in Whole Foods Market each day,” said A.C. Gallo, president of Whole Foods Market. “This bold task will encourage manufacturers to ask deeper questions about ingredients, and it will help us provide greater transparency about the products we sell so our customers can be empowered to make informed decisions about the foods that are best for them.”

Until there is GMO labeling, consumers can rely on Non-GMO Project verified products and certified organic products if they want to avoid GMOs. The U.S. National Organic Standards prohibit the intentional use of GMO seed in the production of organic crops. As a pioneer in the U.S. organic food movement for the past 32 years, Whole Foods Market now offers thousands of organic products, the largest variety in the country.

For more information about this announcement and about GMOs in general click here.

 

1 The company has seven stores in the U.K., which already requires labeling for all foods or feeds that intentionally contain or are produced from GMO ingredients.

2 Plants that have been altered through a technique that changes their genetic makeup, producing new combination of genes and traits that do not occur in nature, including the possibility of the introduction genes from other species, are called genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods.

 

 

 Ed: Kate Bartolotta

 

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Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis is fun, yet fundamentally serious. We aim to be "The Daily Show of mindfulness," spreading the good news beyond the choir to those who weren't sure they gave a care. Our videos are featured on more than 20 sites, including elephantjournal.com. Fan us on facebook too.

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9 Responses to “Video: This is the Biggest, Best News We’ve Had in a Year.”

  1. karlsaliter says:

    Very, very good news. Wish it could take effect tomorrow.

  2. [...] Update: Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis gets the first interview with Whole Foods re their big great an… [...]

  3. elephantjournal says:

    Yup! It's a big turnaround, you can imagine, well beyond package redesign…it means allll the companies will have to work with their sourcing and certification…I don't know much about it but a non-Whole Foodser said it was going to be a ton of work for the companies who sell products in WFM and they'd have to act fast to meet the deadlines.

    • Anna says:

      I love how clever this is, making it a business requirement that companies provide gmo information. Not everything needs to be a government mandate or law when successful chains can put the screws to food producers. I wish people had thought of it sooner, and hope that other grocery suppliers follow suit. Perhaps what couldn’t be accomplished by force can be accomplished through persuasion of income.

      And this is where people could lobby, by petitioning their local stores and chains to make the same commitment. If we could get other national names like Kroger and @gasp@ Walmart to commit to this as well… Companies like Con Agra, Kellogs, etc would have to sit up and change their ways.

  4. @downwarddog says:

    Elephant Journal – is there a known list of food companies/foods that we can start avoiding now? I'm glad Whole Foods is taking this step – but 2018 is a long way off.

  5. John Norvell says:

    This labeling thing makes me a bit nervous, though. Will the public get complacent or catatonically overwhelmed when they see that practically everything, especially their beloved soy products, contains GMO ingredients? And most of us aren't dead or suffering obvious consequences?

  6. [...] This is the Biggest, Best News We’ve Had in a Year. (elephantjournal.com) [...]

  7. Gonzo says:

    We live in Jacksonville, Fl. and we have a grocer known as "Native Sun" that has done this for years. They research products on a regular basis and inform us the consumer why they no longer carry the particular product. Usually it is because the product does not meet the highest quality standards and they will not compromise on that. I've shopped at this store when it was a small shop and it is awesome to see how much they have expanded. This should inform the larger chains of grocers that we the consumer want and will purchase CLEAN PRODUCTS that are scrutinized with the consumer in mind!!!
    Great to see others finally getting it….

  8. Wooddove says:

    The ideal, of course, that companies would be responsible with their products and not produce products that are (potentially) dangerous to our health. That being, unfortunately, unrealistic, I'll take the labeling. Most of us take baby steps towards healthier lifestyles- choosing to purchase certain products that are healthier, easier on the environment, or responsibly produced in some way- as we are able to. I can't afford to change my entire diet to organic, and I simply don't have time to research every product I purchase. If I can stand in the aisle and see at a glance that one brand contains GMOs and one doesn't, it makes it much easier for me as a consumer to make that choice. One hopes that this will encourage companies to create more products that are GMO free- or act as a wake up call for those who believe it is a small scale issue.

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