Whole Foods Withdraws Promise to Label GMOs

This article was originally published 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.

In 2007, it bought its chief rival Wild Oats — an acquisition initially challenged by the Federal Trade Commission, which said the merger violated federal antitrust laws and provided Whole Foods unilateral market power that could raise prices and lower quality. The issue was eventually settled by selling off the Wild Oats brand and more than 30 physical store locations.1,2

Amazon Now Owns Whole Foods

Last year, Amazon announced its intention to acquire Whole Foods Market and its 465 stores, a $13.7 billion deal that had food manufacturers quaking in their boots, while organic producers worried the deal might compromise and dilute organic food standards even further.3 The acquisition went through on August 28, 2017.4 Within two days of the merger, Whole Foods’ store traffic rose by 25 percent. Within the first month, Amazon made $1.6 million off its online sales of Whole Foods private label products.

But while the success story of Whole Foods continues, questions about whether it’s really socially commendable to shop at Whole Foods have festered well over a decade.5 The company has faced well-deserved criticism for its effects on employees by refusing unionization, the environment due to its limited supply of local produce, and its selling of questionable products such as items containing MSG and rBGH, making label scrutiny a necessity even here.

Like most large corporations, it has shareholders to contend with, and the company has been accused of cutting corners to make a profit on more than one occasion. This trend is unlikely to change with Amazon at the rudder. As a matter of fact, while Whole Foods has spent the last five years promoting its promise to implement a comprehensive labeling policy6 for genetically modified organisms(GMOs) — a promise that has been a major selling point to entice customer support — that plan has now been laid aside.

Whole Foods Reneges Its Promise to Implement GMO Labeling

As reported by New Food Economy,7 Whole Foods’ GMO labeling policy was scheduled to take effect September 1, 2018. However, in a May 18 email, Whole Foods president and CEO A.C. Gallo announced the company’s 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The public comment8 period ended July 3 and the final rule is expected to be delivered July 29.

“As the USDA finalizes the federal regulation in the coming months and the food industry assesses the impact, we do not want our Policy to pose further challenges for you and your business,” Gallo writes. As reported by New Food Economy:

“As currently proposed, the USDA policy would make several substantive changes to the way GMOs have traditionally been defined by the food industry — starting with the terminology itself. The government’s preferred nomenclature is “bioengineered” (BE), which only refers to a food that has had another organism’s genes spliced into it by a process called transgenesis.

Other types of genetic modification, including some produced by gene-editing tools like CRISPR, would not need to be labeled. As currently written, Whole Foods’ requirements would be more stringent than the proposed USDA rules in at least two significant ways.

First, USDA has suggested letting companies label BE ingredients by QR code, meaning that customers would need to be directed to a website via smartphone to find out what’s in their food … Whole Foods has never planned to allow QR codes to count as GMO disclosures …

Second, USDA rules contain perplexing carveouts for meat products, which are regulated under a different system9,10 … Whole Foods now faces a choice: It can move forward with its original plan, or defer to the government’s less comprehensive new rules.”

Is Whole Foods Committing Fraud?

As noted by New Food Economy, “All this begs a question: Is Whole Foods softening its commitment to GMO-labeling transparency?” The company promised its customers it would lead the way by labeling food sold in its stores in a clear and transparent manner. In fact, it was the first national grocery chain to make such a commitment, and many have patiently waited for the implementation of this promise, as it would set a new, higher standard for others to follow.

Transparent GMO labeling is also what more than 8 in 10 Americans want.11 If Whole Foods ends up adopting USDA rules, many GMO-containing foods will remain unlabeled, which is nothing short of unacceptable, especially for a company that claims to be a leader among organics. As noted in the featured article, “It would mean that a company that’s long claimed the moral high ground would be no more transparent, as far as GMO labeling goes, than any other grocery store.”

Whole Foods assured New Food Economy that it remains “committed to providing our customers with the level of transparency they want and expect from us and will continue to require suppliers to obtain third-party verification for non-GMO claims.” But if that’s the case, why has no new deadline for its GMO labeling been announced?

March 8, 2013, Whole Foods issued a statement saying, “by 2018, all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores12 must be labeled to indicate if they contain GMOs. 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.”

To me, it seems incredibly disingenuous to mislead and lie to customers for five years with a promise to be the first to really do the right thing, and then not follow through just because the government is working on rules that in no way, shape or form fulfill customers’ expectations of transparent labeling. It is my sincere hope that some of you will be angered enough to file a class-action lawsuit against them for this injustice.

USDA Bioengineered Labeling Is a Joke

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its proposal13 for the labeling of foods containing GMOs May 3 — a bizarre, or to use the word of Sierra Club, “Orwellian,” rule that appears to misdirect and create unnecessary confusion on purpose. Perhaps most problematic is the fact that it’s not clear whether “highly refined foods” will be included in the standard. Not only are a majority of foods sold in grocery stores highly refined, or contain highly refined ingredients, but these foods are also the most likely to contain GMOs.

If highly refined foods will not require GMO labeling, the labeling requirement will be essentially useless, as very few whole foods are genetically engineered. Another significant problem is the absence of the phrases “genetically modified” or “genetically engineered” on the label. Not even the now well-recognized household word “GMO” is to be found anywhere on the USDA’s GMO label. Instead of calling it what it is, and what people now are most likely to understand, the USDA is using the word “bioengineered” or BE for short.

This is a misleading phrase for the simple fact that it sounds far more natural than it is; closer to biodynamic than genetically modified. The proposal also does not address whether foods produced using newer forms of genetic engineering, such as gene editing, CRISPR technology and synthetic biology, will need to be labeled, and/or whether they would require another type of label to distinguish them from in-vitro DNA techniques.

Adding insult to injury, the logo itself is clearly designed to impart a false impression of GMOs as being natural and wholesome. The proposed logo (two versions of which are included here), is the word “be” inside a smiley-face sun. The whole thing smacks of biotech promotion and misdirection. As stated by George Kimbrell, legal director for the Center for Food Safety, “We would support a little circle that said ‘GE’ or ‘GMO’ — something neutral that’s not pro-biotech propaganda.”

Last but not least, the proposed rule does not even include the requirement to use a standardized icon. Rather than mandating an easily recognizable icon or logo, companies would have the option of using:

The smiley sun logo (above)

Two other “BE” logos (see the proposed rule document14

Adding a sentence along the lines of “Contains a bioengineered food ingredient” without logo

Simply including a QR code directing you to the company’s website for more information about the ingredients, which will require you to have a smartphone and reliable connection inside the store, something which one-third of Americans don’t have.

As a result, the use of QR codes has been criticized as being inherently discriminatory against rural, low-income and elderly populations.15 Internet and smartphone availability really should not be a criterion for getting information about what’s in the food you’re holding in your hand and contemplating buying

Why Rename What Everyone Already Knows?

A solid decade has been spent educating Americans about genetically engineered (GE) foods and foods containing GMO ingredients — what they are and that they exist in the first place. With this in mind, the USDA’s decision to ditch the terms GE and GMO and replace them with BE seems extremely suspect.

As noted by Sophia Kruszewski, senior policy specialist with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the timing is even more suspect “since many companies have responded to consumer desire for transparency and started voluntarily labeling their products. [GMO disclosure] doesn’t seem to pose an enormous challenge.”16

The only reason I can come up with for unnecessarily complicating matters is that the USDA is assisting the biotech industry by making the labeling as obscure as possible. And, if Whole Foods decides to just follow along with this opaque and nonsensical strategy, it stands to lose consumers’ respect, not to mention trust.

Will You Remain Loyal to Whole Foods or Let Them Know How You Feel About Their Deception?

There are many problems associated with GMOs, from environmental problems to human health risks. As such, it’s really imperative for consumers to be fully informed about what they’re buying, especially when it comes to their food. Whether Whole Foods will fulfill its promise to lead the way by requiring GMO foods sold in its stores to be clearly labeled remains to be seen.

At present, it seems to have decided that making it easy for suppliers is more important than fulfilling its promise for labeling to its customers. If you’re a frequent shopper at Whole Foods, you may want to share your views with the company’s leadership. You can find company contact information on the Whole Foods Market customer service page.19


Fasting?

Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation

Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.

In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!

Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!

==> Naturally Fight & Reverse Damaging Inflammatory Effects in Your Body!


Best stretch before bed (1 minute)

Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…

What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...

=> Best stretch before bed (takes 1-min)

Enjoy!

Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody


Stop Snoring in 3 Minutes - Starting Tonight

...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!

Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?

Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!

...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.

Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.

Use them anytimeanywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.

Plus the results are permanent!

To learn more and test-drive the easy snoring and sleep apnea exercises for yourself, click here...

To a good night's sleep,
Rick + Lisa
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody


The #1 "bodyfat-eating" hormone...

weight loss solved

Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?

True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.

However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...

It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:

==> How to Activate Your #1 "Bodyfat-Eating" Hormone...

To your health!

PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...


#1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat

I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.

If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.

Is it…

a) Abs

b) Chest

c) Glutes

d) Hip Flexors

Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!


How to Wipe Out Chronic Inflammation (Free Book)

inflammation

In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.

See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.

Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.

inflammation book

Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!

Get the Free Inflammation Book

--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)


Free Paleo / Keto Cookbook

Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold ­­ a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...

And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!

paleohack chart

The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef ­created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes ­­ which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.

Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)

>> Get The Free Cookbook

Enjoy!


Sponsored Health Resources

In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.

NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!


1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…

--> "Red" Smoothie Helps Alabama Girl Shed 80lbs!


2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.

--> Get the 1 Day Cleanse (better than 7-day detoxes!)


3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.

--> #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat


4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!

--> Your Birth Date + Name - Free Report


5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!

--> The best way to get maximum effects of Turmeric


6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.

--> Why Some People LOOK Fat that Aren't


7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.

-->  Unlock Your Hip Flexors


Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.

Rick D.
wisemindhealthybody.com