Whole Foods is showing their support for a consumers “right to know” concerning GMOs. At the Natural Products Expo West in spring of 2013, they announced that by 2018 all products in their US and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate if they contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
This 5 year deadline will allow them to work with manufacturers to help transition their ingredients to non-GMO sources and/or change all appropriate labeling to clearly state when ingredients containing GMOs are used.
This new ruling is considered by many to be one of the first big steps towards creating a more natural and transparent food industry in North America. Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market stated, “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.”
Whole Foods also strongly supports products that have undergone the Non-GMO Project™ verification process. In fact, they currently sell over 3,300 Non-GMO Project™ verified products from 250 brands, more than any other retailer in North America. They also put their own brand 365 Everyday Value™ through the Non-GMO verification process in 2009.
It’s clear that Whole Foods supports mandatory labeling laws in the US food industry, but they are doing what they can to make immediate changes that are within their own control. “We’re responding to our customers, who have consistently asked us for GMO labeling and we are doing so by focusing on where we have control: in our own stores,” said Robb.
Centra Foods is supporting the movement by providing Non-GMO Canola Oil (Non-GMO Project ™ verified oil in tankers), Non-GMO Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil and Non-GMO Olive Oils.
To learn more about this, read this article from Whole Foods.