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 is a purely evil company and is very intimate with the pharmaceutical industry. They need recurring sickness in order to make money. This is just crazy...we're being force fed disgusting food and we have no say. This is just one of the many things that our government and congress allows with pretty much no good reason other than sheer corporate greed and control.

People, look up "March 20th Revolution" and come to help support getting rid of this insanity. This is only the tip of the iceberg folks, if we just sit back and take it we're as good as slaves in a few months/years when the economy completely collapses.

Focus on Monsanto. They are not invincible. Be kind with each other. Concentrate your ire on Monsanto.

This article is taken without a single fact being checked from a blog by Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association. Immediately after the USDA decision, he focused the blame solely upon these three businesses. Organic Valley and Stonyfield get all their milk from the CROPP cooperatives, the oldest organic coop in the US. They have very high organic standards, and high standards for humane treatment and Organic Valley products get very high marks from the Cornucopia Institute for their products. There are around 1600 small organic farmers who stand to lose big if this kind of irresponsible journalism continues. They never had any intention to stop fighting, in fact Organic Valley spent 6 years doing just that, with a large financial support of the Center for Food Safety. This article doesn't come close to the truth. Losing organic farmers and organic producers at this point in time is a CRAZY plan, which only plays into MONSANTO's hands!
I don't even shop at a Whole Foods, but know that they had all their in-store products tested by the NON-GMO Project. See independent article here: http://www.naturalfoodlist.com/4243/on-getting-divided-and-conquered-how-biotech-firms-are-winning-the-war-via-social-media/

If anyone is interested, please check these links for an alternative perspective. I hate to see organic acreage lost at this point in the battle:
These are the minutes of the USDA meeting the supposed sell outs attended: http://berlinnaturalbakery.com/blog/index.php/2011/02/02/gmo-wars-united-we-stand-divided-we-fail/
And this letter lays out what these folks were asked to comment on, the "coexistence" that was spun to mean selling out (consider, again, that gmo corn, soy, and canola are already coexisting in REALITY with non-GMO varieties, albeit not well at all, and I'm FOR a total ban, but this was the ONLY discussion allowed at this point)

Thank you for the most appropriate post in this debate.

Hey everybody: It is obvious that many people here are believing what they're reading without checking on it. I'm not taking sides on this Whole Foods thing one way or another,by the way,until I do some more research. I AM against GMOs. I am an environmental studies student in Portland and if there is one thing I've learned, not only in school but in my 40 years of life, is that you can never--NEVER--trust just one or two sources. If you really want to have an informed opinion, keep quiet until you have actually checked the sources and explored the various sides of an issue. Ask questions. Get media savvy. It's a war out here, and the best defense we have is to be well informed.

To those who complain that Whole Foods should have stood up for a ban but accepted the "two options" that the USDA put on the table: did you rally your troops and lobby Whole Foods? Do a letter-writing or call-in campaign? Maybe you did, and you have a right to be disappointed. But if you didn't, you jumped into the game a little late to complain now. If you really care about this issue, get informed and get involved.

The suggestion that the article us without facts or is irresponsible is baseless. Anne looked into this matter. Cornucopia, which you cite, also expressed concerns about the decisions of Whole Foods, et al.

You concede far too much. The idea that coexistence was the "only discussion allowed at this point" fails to understand the very point, which is why the corporations would accept that limitation? Had they rallied their vast customer base to reject this artifical limitation of options and demand that Monsanto/USDA not be allowed to dictate such a limited conversation surely you could imagine another result.

Whole Foods does not have a huge customer base. In comparison to other grocery chains, it's miniscule. Their 2010 sales were $2.2 billion. To take just one example, Safeway's sales for that year were over $40 billion. The sad fact is that most Americans just don't know about this issue, or care. That is what needs to change.

This makes for a great sadness! We will have to continue the fight without them. That is all I can say. I love Stoneyfield too. I think they are the only true organic dairy out there.