Whole Foods, What’s the Deal?


By Club Member Brandi Monson

Whole Foods has been in the news lately concerning Agro-giant Monsanto. Along with Stonyfield Farm and Organic Valley, they tried to offer a working solution to the USDA concerning genetically modified alfalfa as it concerns organic farmers.

The USDA gave Whole Foods two options or else they would not be able to be in the negotiations any more. The options are:

  1. To allow monsanto to have full control to do as they want to, completely unregulated.
  2. To allow monsanto to do what they want with GM food, but implement some regulation and attempt to control genetically modified organisms (GMO) so that it can co-exist with non-GMO foods.

Other outlets have reported that Whole Foods had “caved” to Monsanto, or that they had reached a compromise that would protect organic farmers via a compensation plan. Neither of these articles sounds very optimistic to me.

The Whole Foods Blog states that they are very disappointed in the USDA’s decision and had hoped that the outcome would have been different. Whole Foods maintains that their position all along was that of the need to coexist with GE crops via governmental regulations since an outright ban on GE crops “was not an option in Washington”.

Whole Foods Market advocated strongly for deregulation with restrictions to preserve the ability of non-GE and organic growers to avoid contamination. It seemed that the USDA was finally recognizing that cross-contamination of GE alfalfa could potentially impact organic and non-GE farmers and consumers, both domestically and for our export markets. In fact, by inviting non-GE industry members to D.C. to discuss this issue, it appeared as though the USDA was acknowledging that organic and non-GE agriculture has the right to not only survive, but to thrive alongside GE agriculture.

Once again the government disappoints when it comes to food integrity in the USA.

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