Why Whole Foods is taking too long to label GMOs and how to avoid purchasing genetically modified foods?
Whole Foods recently announced that it would initiate voluntary GMO labeling by 2018. However many people are questioning that with all the potential harms related with GMOs, why Whole Foods is taking so long to label GM foods?
It is obvious that 5 years is a long time to wait if they intend to label GMOs that have been linked to infertility, cancer, autism and many other health problems. If Whole Foods really wants to label GM foods, in the worst case scenario, they can label all their products in less than 12 month. However Whole Foods decision to label GM foods in the next 5 years is one way to appear concerned about the harms of GMO while doing this most certainly as a marketing ploy to get back some of its marketshare lost due to being caught for lying about GMO labeling 2 years ago.
Whole Foods is also using the policy of GMO labeling as a dangling carrot in front our eyes for more than just public relations – it intends to entice organic farmers into negotiations that are more favorable, both in terms of pricing and for exclusive rights to distribute.
You probably remember the rats in Seralini study that were fed with GMOs ended up dying from huge tumors. The two-year Seralini study was one of the longest studies about GM foods and their side effects and keep in mind that rats are a lot more resilient than human beings.
However, there are no long-term studies about side effect of GMOs on human beings so our families and kids are used as guinea pigs of biotech laboratory. Also GMOs can do more damage and harm in the next 5 years and new GM crops immorally approved (without concern for the public) by both FDA and USDA can contaminate most of organic and non-GMO crops across the country.
Recently, President Obama approved Monster (Monsanto) Protection Act that will protect Monsanto from being held liable in the court of law in case of future lawsuits. So now Monsanto can even more recklessly plant new GM crops and enjoy ultimate protection from both the government and legal system. The truth is that with all the possible health risks of new GM crops, in the next 5 years, we could easily pass the point of no return and contaminate most of organic and non-GMO crops.
However, in the meanwhile Whole Foods on their website explains that they offer different ways for their consumers to avoid GM foods. One of them is buying certified organic, because the USDA National Organic Standards don’t allow GMO ingredients in organic foods. The other way to avoid GM foods is buying 365 Everyday Value® food products that included hundreds of products verified by Non-GMO project.
How about other stores including PCC or Trader Joes?
Even other stores that offer healthy choices and organic items, including both PCC and Trader Joes, have no intention to label ingredients that are GMO. However, recently Trader Joes announced that most of its products sold under Trader Joes label are made with GMO free ingredients. This is however not exactly beneficial for those that want to have a GMO-free diet for themselves and their children.
The PCC store in Washington is a huge advocate for labeling genetically modified organisms in the state of Washington. Based on PCC website both the senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have announced that they're sponsoring Federal legislation to label GMO foods. At the same time, FDA is moving forward with approval of GE salmon without a label.
The strong anti-GMO sentiment is forcing healthy organic stores to be publicly criticized if they carry GMO ingredients.
I have shopped at both PCC and Trader Joes for the last 15 years and both stores carry products that are unique in taste, nutrition and price. For example if for once you try the organic Persian cucumbers, blueberries and avocados of Trader Joes, you wouldn’t want to buy cucumbers, blueberries or avocado from anywhere else. Recently, Trader Joes has announced that it will put in extra effort to double check and make sure that most of their products sold under Trader Joes label are GMO free. Still not give 100% assurances that an item we may buy or consume is 100% GMO-free – guaranteed.
How to avoid GM foods?
Because of lack of proper labeling many people find it challenging on how they could avoid GMOs or products with GM ingredients. Before you purchase any product from Whole Foods, Trader Joes or PCC or others, look for Non-GMO or USDA certified organic. Beware of products that don’t have any label or the label says something vague like “All Natural”. This doesn’t mean that it does not have GMO ingredients, pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, or contaminants.
If you want to go 100% pesticide free, it’s better to look for USDA certified organic only. Many people ask if there are GMO ingredients in certified organic products and the answer is: NO. Current USDA regulations do not allow use of chemical fertilizers and prohibit antibiotic, use of synthetic hormones in meat, poultry or dairy and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in organic products.
Support Washington’s initiative I-522 to label genetically modified foods
Last year the big 6 pesticide companies who are also the biggest biotech companies spent $46 against Proposition No.37 in California.
Alaska was the first one that passed GMO labeling law back in 2005. This November the voters in Washington will make a decision to protect the freedom of choice to label all GM ingredients and even GMO seeds. If I-522 passes in the state of Washington all GE seeds and foods will including sweet corn, corn ships, maize, canola oil, corn, sugar beets, bananas and corn syrup will be labeled.
For more information go to http://www.labelitwa.org/
Tell FDA to reject GMO salmon before April 26
Please submit a comment to FDA before April 26th and ask them to reject GE salmon. Despite the limited tests on GE salmon, FDA is moving forward with approval of Frankenfish without a label. The short term result of tests on GM salmon has shown increase in allergies and lower nutrient content (like lower level of omega 3) for GMO fish.
To comment to FDA please visit: