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.)


The nature of the civilization project was clear from the beginning. As the swiftly arriving product of agriculture, the intensification of domination has been steady and sure. It’s telling that humans’ first monuments coincide with the first signs of domestication (R. Bradley in Mither, 1998). The sad linearity of civilization’s destruction of the natural world has been interrupted only by symptoms of self-destruction in the social sphere, in the form of wars. And when we recall with B.D. Smith (1995) that domestication is “the creation of a new form of plant and animal,” it becomes obvious that genetic engineering and cloning are anything but strange aberrations from the norm. - John Zerzan

Sorry Chris Lennox, but your understanding of genetic engineering is way off mark here. GM is an attempt to mess up (and I mean 'mess-up') the genes on the chromosomes present in every cell of an organism by interfering with with them using artificial and very chancy methods. Here is an analogy of the work of a genetic engineer: Imagine a large tree with a thousand sparrows singing in it. You have a blunderbuss or scatter-gun as it is called in the States. Your job is to fire that gun into the tree and try to hit every sparrow you can - in the eye - with each piece of lead shot in the charge from that gun. Well can you imagine the probabilities? Now that is only the tip of the iceberg. The odds for the genetic engineer are far higher because the genes we are talking about are in the millions in each cell, whilst the available 'shot' is minute. It is no wonder that the biggest product of GM interference is surprise.
Nature's way of producing a sub species (called Hybridization)is to 'allow' possibly compatible gene pairing. But nature is pretty resilient and if a pairing is unsuccessful then the product simply dies. Totally different from Genetic Engineering.

I think the above quote may be mis-labeled......if it said genetic engineering is inherent in humanity(not agriculture), i could see a point.....we love to screw with things, and our intellect far exceeds our intuitive intelligence, or wisdom, hence we tend to embark on things like nuclear power, genetic engineering, etc, without proper foresight into the costs and outcomes......of course greed, coupled with this tendancy, makes it 1,000 times worse ... and yes, there are still far too many people who confuse genetic engineering with hybridization and other more organic forms of enhanced natural selection..... we are learning, faster than ever, thanks to this innernet thing, and there are signs our intuitive/wisdom capabilities are rising to meet the need....an interesting time to live, for sure.....

Yeah. It's the norm for fish genetic code to be mixed in with plant code. Happens all the time in nature. Fish and plants have sex, and the plant gives birth to a litter that has both fish and plant code. Some of the offspring go swim in the sea and rivers, and the other brothers and sisters grow to be corn. Perfectly natural. :/

So we don't know that Monsanto agreed to this do we? anyone?

I don't see how it really has any bearing, but I do appreciate WF wanting
to protect and repair the loss of organic growers. I hope their buying policies follow...you get my drift?

We can demand that they declare what they are selling. I think that's the point not boycotting, but helping make better decisions.

imo, the problem is that whole foods is a pseudo heath/natural food store. they are open to rip people off selling conventional foods as "natural" and have even been caught selling conventional as "organic." they sell foods made with hydrogenated oils,artificial sweetener which neither are natural or whole. I have never liked them , dont shop there and will drive past them to go to a local natural food co-op where they actually care about what they sell. so why are people surprised to learn that they are on the side of evil monsanto.i expected it.

It's really wonderful to support real local growers selling at co-ops and farmers markets and I would encourage anyone to do so as much as possible. Just remember that those vendors, unlike a corporation (like WFM), can allow you to assume that their products are natural or organic and are not held legally accountable for that misrepresentation. Just because it's grown up the road and you can shake the farmer's hand doesn't mean they don't use chemicals. Additionally, there is absolutely ZERO truth to your statement that Whole Foods sells hydrogenated oils or artificial sweeteners. The phrase "all natural" isn't a lie it's simply misunderstood. In order for a manufacturer, producer, or retailer to slap that label on something it simply can not contain any synthetic or artificial ingredients. That doesn't mean an all natural cereal can't contain grains grown conventionally(with GMO's or pesticide). And finally Whole Foods Market's certified organic products are held to some of the highest standards in the country at the risk of being fined tens of thousands of dollars by the USDA who audits all of their stores regularly and at random.

Wholefood employed TRollShill

So what's the alternative, go to the "normal" supermarket, which also sells some "natural" or "all natural" or occasional "organic" foods? How many of us can buy only from local farmers or grow all of our own foods, or afford to buy only at health food stores (some [or many] of which do the same as wholefoods)?
I think the best is to push for labeling. I like the California ballot initiative.

The real issue at hand is that the FDA should make a law requiring all food producers and resellers to label the food that is grown with GMO's. We need to start with proper labeling and demanding that our food be label if it was Genetically Modified or not.
I believe with problems such as obesity and cancer on the uprise, especially in children, it would be another factor to track to see if GMO food sources have a contributing factor.
Aren't we concerned when developing Nations that have famines and large starvation problems will refuse the GMO grains and seeds that the USA donates to them? They would rather go without than contaminate their own food source, fields, and bodies.