It seems that everyone jumped on the bandwagon recently to target Whole Foods and blame it for everything from promoting GMOs to lying about them in its products. People have said that the company was taken over by Monsanto, and cannot be trusted to provide customers who enter the store with safe, non-GMO food.
Previously, Whole Foods was lauded by the very same people who turned against it:
“My overall view of Whole Foods? Two thumbs up. Way up. This store rocks” (Mike Adams, 2007).
The tide started changing from support of Whole Foods to rabidly against it in 2009, then escalated in 2011 with the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) taking aim and firing a salvo at the company due to its stance on coexistence with GMOs, as if there could actually be such a thing.
The problem was, Whole Foods said out loud what just about every grocery store, supermarket, and big box health food store is really doing – selling GMOs disguised as “healthy” food. You can do it, just don’t talk about it. If you get too honest about your intentions, consider yourself slapped. Hard.
And the accusations started compounding, finally reaching a peak during the Prop. 37 California GMO labeling campaign last year, when the company failed to fund it. Why? Well, it seems that the stores “do not contribute to political campaigns or ballot initiatives as a company policy.”
Interestingly enough, in 2009, Whole Foods verified its private label line with the Non-GMO Project:
Whole Foods private label line, 365 Everyday Value, has been GMO-free for years, it says, and since 2009, it’s been verified through the Non-GMO Project, which analyzes food for the presence of GMOs.
The Whole Foods private label line is non-GMO. And it sells other products that contain GMOs, just not with the company’s label on them. But it is not alone in this “coexistence” quagmire. Trader Joe’s does the same. There is also the issue of Silk and Tom’s of Maine, which just happen to be currently endorsed and/or sponsor some of the same people who condemned Whole Foods. Is Whole Foods really the pariah it was made out to be?
The question of why this attack was orchestrated on the company was never asked, and quite frankly, I really don’t think anyone cared. This was a chance to jump on a giant and pound the living daylights out of it while making oneself look good. Whole Foods quickly became reviled amongst the people who once lauded it.
Now, the company has publicly announced that it will require labeling of GMOs in all products it sells in its stores by 2018.
“Grocery giant Whole Foods Market will require all foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) sold in its U.S. and Canadian stores to be labeled as such by 2018. This puts the company in the position of being the first grocery chain in the United States to set a deadline for GMO labeling.”
That’s a big undertaking, and something that not one of the other guys has gone out on a limb to do. You know, the guys who publicly derided the company for doing what they do themselves, which is to support GMOs by supporting products sold by companies that support GMOs and other toxic substances. These are the same people who then turned an about face with this 2018 labeling announcement and now stand in support of Whole Foods and its efforts.
I applaud you. You forced the giant to clean up its act. Now clean up your own.
But then again, maybe this is all a coordinated marketing plan. Maybe they are all working together in a huge “good cop, bad cop” routine designed to increase market share for all involved, with increasing and decreasing waves of treachery and back-biting orchestrated in a manner that would make the most jaded public relations professional proud.
The following information is crucial to know in order to understand that what is going on is not what it appears to be:
1) Natural News, the Organic Consumer’s Association, and The Institute for Responsible Technology all support the Green Polkadot Box.
The Box sells, among other things, Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. Tom’s is owned by Colgate-Palmolive, who sells fluoridated toothpaste and promotes drinking plenty of “fluoridated” water, which is actually laced with the hazardous waste that comes from Cargill’s fertilizer stacks that is dumped into the water and somehow becomes “good for us” when we ingest it, as well as GMO dog food and aluminum-filled antiperspirant in its list of chemicals we can most certainly live without.
2) Silk is listed as a sponsor of the Institute for Responsible Technology’s (IRT) non-GMO shopping guide site.
Silk is owned by White Wave, a division of Dean Foods:
To meet the demands of a diverse group of consumers across the U.S., Dean Foods oversees two operating divisions: Fresh Dairy Direct and WhiteWave-Alpro. The WhiteWave-Alpro segment consists of the operations of The WhiteWave Foods Company (NYSE:WWAV) which became a publicly traded company in 2012.
Dean Foods’ White Wave is partnered with Land O’ Lakes. Land O’ Lakes owns Forage Genetics, which partnered with Monsanto to bring about GMO alfalfa:
“To produce its Round-Up Ready Alfalfa seeds, Monsanto partnered with a company called Forage Genetics International, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes dairy co-op. That’s right, Land O’Lakes stands to make a fortune from polluting our food supply with untested and unlabeled GMOs.”
Oops! Oh, and by the way, Natural News and the OCA did call for a boycott of Silk. I guess that the IRT didn’t get the email. Must have landed in the spam folder.
3) And how about Trader Joe’s…
Trader Joe’s private label does not contain GMOs. Trader Joe’s also sells products containing GMOs, like Whole Foods, and has no intentions of stopping. I don’t see anyone attacking them. Mike Adams of Natural News says “Stick with grocery stores like Trader Joes and your local farmers markets.”
Trader Joe’s sells about 4,000 SKUs, and about 80% of the stock bears the Trader Joe’s brand. The result: Its stores sell an estimated $1,750 in merchandise per square foot, more than double Whole Foods’.
Trader Joe’s is owned by the same people who own a supermarket empire.
Few customers realize the chain is owned by Germany’s ultra-private Albrecht family, the people behind the Aldi Nord supermarket empire.
“When Kart and Theo Albrecht split the company to form Aldi Nord (North) and Aldi Süd (South) in 1960, they also split their global ambitions. Today there are about 4981 stores that belong to Aldi North and 4504 stores that belong to Aldi South. In addition there are about 367 Trader Joe’s that belong to Aldi North.”
The privately held company’s sales last year were roughly $8 billion, the same size as Whole Foods.
Hmmmmm…. Trader Joe’s is at least as big as Whole Foods, and I don’t see any mention of non-GMO at the Aldi site, Trader Joe’s big sister company, do you? Here’s a link: http://aldi.us/index_ENU_HTML.htm
And the difference is???
So, what’s the difference between these companies and Whole Foods? I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me, because I sure can’t tell the difference, except for the fact that Whole Foods has taken a stand to force labeling of GMOs on all its products by 2018. I don’t see the other guys doing that, do you?
I’m inclined to think that it’s all a big game, with us paying the price while leading organizations play this good cop, bad cop routine and rake in the dough. Some good comes of it, but no matter how much good you do, if you are sponsored by the bad guys, then at some point in time, you sell out. The questions are – how, when, and where. We already know why… money, money, money, money… MONEY!
Coexistence with GMOs is not possible. If you think so, you are deluding yourself. If you think that any anti-GMO organization that supports companies that support GMOs is really on your side and will fight tooth and nail to make sure your food is free of GMOs, I’ve got some ocean-front property in Arizona that I’d like to get rid of… cheap… and I’ll even throw the Golden Gate Bridge in for free.
©2013 Barbara H. Peterson