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Whole Foods Withdraws Promise to Label GMOs

Whole Foods Withdraws Promise to Label GMOs

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  • In 2013, Whole Foods issued a statement saying all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate if they contain GMOs; the labeling policy was scheduled to take effect September 1, 2018
  • On May 18, Whole Foods announced the GMO labeling requirement is being “paused” in response to concerns from suppliers about having to comply with both Whole Foods’ rules and those proposed by the USDA. No new deadline has been issued
  • If Whole Foods ends up adopting USDA rules, many GMO-containing foods will remain unlabeled, as USDA rules only require products created through transgenesis to be labeled as GMO
  • USDA proposed rules for GMO labeling are unsatisfactory at best. It’s not even clear whether “highly refined foods” will be included in the standard, yet a majority of foods sold in grocery stores are highly refined, and are also the most likely to contain GMO ingredients
  • USDA is also not using any of the already familiar phrases such as “genetically modified,” “genetically engineered” or GMO on the label. Instead, USDA is using the word “bioengineered” (BE) — a misleading phrase as it sounds far more natural than it is

By Dr. Mercola

While Whole Foods Market, founded in 1980, has been a leading retailer of organic produce in the U.S. for decades, the company has faced its share of criticism; in later years being accused of operating more like an industrial organic company rather than a local distributor of high-quality organic food.


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