Whole Foods Market Caves to Monsanto

WholeFoodsMarketAfter 12 years of battling to stop Monsanto's genetically-engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's organic farmland, the biggest retailers of "natural" and "organic" foods in the U.S., including Whole Foods Market (WFM), Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm, have agreed to stop opposing mass commercialization of GE crops, like Monsanto's controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa.

In exchange for dropping their opposition, WFM has asked for "compensation" to be paid to organic farmers for "any losses related to the contamination of his crop." Under current laws, Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs) are not subject to any pre-market safety testing or labeling. WFM is abandoning its fight with biotech companies in part because two thirds of the products they sell are not certified organic anyway, but are really conventional, chemical-intensive and foods that may contain GMOs and that they market as "natural" despite this. Most consumers don't know the difference between "natural" and "certified organic" products. "Natural" products can come from crops and animals fed nutrients containing GMOs. "Certified Organic" products are GMO-free. WFM and their main distributor, United Natural Foods, maximize profits by selling products labeled "natural" at premium organic prices.  (A typographical error in the second sentence of this story was subsequently corrected.  We regret this minor error.)


Monsanto has shut down organic farmers for having these cross-pollinated hybrids amongst their crops. Shut them down, bough their land. you dont understand the threat, it isnt just about a couple of infected plants. Its about Monsanto shutting down organic farmers in general... wake up people!!

"The World According To Monsanto" check it out!

Lets try to build understanding and act to push back Monsanto without being condecending and acting like people are ignorant. It is off putting at the very least.

Yes, please stick to the facts without the personal comments. Actually any post that I read with the much overused "wake up, people" comment in it immediately loses its value in my mind. I really dislike being told to wake up when I am very much as aware of what is going on as most of the others who are concerned here.

Right and after cross-pollinating, they then sue the organic farmers, essentially threatening them with bankruptcy-- or at least that is happening out here on the west coast with farmers out in Ventura. Their legal machine is terrifying.

Too bad a bunch of farmers couldn't come together and sue Monsanto for littering on their property (as well as damaging/poisoning their crops). Unfortunately, they'd probably lose.


read to the end. It's fairly short and addresses your query.

Cross-pollination happens while the plants are in bloom. In this context, it's where the pollen of a GMO crop is carried by wind or insect into a field of non-GMO crop is being grown and the pollen fertilizes the flower producing an eventual seed that has the genetic markers of both crops. The farmers most affected by this are not even buying their seed from Monsanto; they are using seed that they have saved from year-to-year as most farmers did at one time. When the genetic markers of Monsanto's seeds tests in the saved seed of the non-GMO farmer, Monsanto sues them for using their seed genetics without their permission.

Watch Food Inc. to get a better and more in-depth look at this subject.


For the non-botanists in the room - the bulk of the calories that we consume are seeds - wheat, corn, soybeans, you name the grain - all are seeds. Seeds are produced when the pollen from the flower of a plant travels on the wind to the flower of another plant, where the pollen fertilizes the flower by mixing genetic material - the same principle as human sex that has resulted in the magnificent variety of life forms on this planet. When GM pollen fertilizes the flower of a non-GM plant, the seeds that are produced are essentially half GMO, and carry some of those traits. A few years ago Monsanto launched a new type of seed imbued with a gene they called the Terminator, which made it impossible for the plants that grew from those seeds to produce viable seeds themselves. Because of the extreme danger of introducing the Terminator gene into the food supply, where (through cross-pollination) it could easily sterilize many of the world's food crops, the Terminator gene was abandoned. However, Monsanto has achieved a similar outcome through patent law - farmers who buy the seed must sign a contract stating that they will not attempt to save seed (save some of the year's crop for planting the following year, as farmers have been doing for thousands of years). If they do, or if a non-GM farmer's crop is pollinated by GM pollen, they can be sued for theft of intellectual property (despite the fact that the law does not account for the laws of physics or botany).
Sadly GMOs have made their way into every facet of American life - from the health food store to batteries to the gloss on magazines - and beyond, to the world, to India, where farmers commit suicide en masse because they can't afford the fancy chemicals Monsanto salesmen are pushing down their throats. It is an ugly mess, and the only way out is to demand proper labeling of GM foods, to avoid them like the plague, and to spread the word to your friends. Your dollar is your vote.