January 19, 2018

Whole Foods Takes Lead On GMO Labeling

Whole Foods Market has announced that by 2018 all products containing genetically modified ingredients must be labeled so if they are to be sold at its stores in the U.S. and Canada. It is the first American grocery store chain make such a requirement.

“We are putting a stake in the ground on GMO labeling to support the consumer’s right to know,” Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, said in a statement. “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.”

With 3,300 non-GMO products from 250 brands, Whole Foods already sells more non-GMO products than any other retailer in North America, the company says. That’s because over the last few years it has worked with its suppliers to find and source non-GMO foods. And, since 2009, has put its store brand, 365 Everyday Value, through a non-GMO verification process.

“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.

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