In an attempt to set the precedent, Whole Foods announced that they will label all genetically-modified food sold at their US and Canadian locations by 2018. They are the first major retailer in the US food industry to make the move and could prove to be a game-changer in the contentious GMO debate.
“This is an issue whose time has come,” Whole Foods Co-Chief Executive Walter Robb stated. “With cases like horse meat discovered in the U.K., plastic in milk in China, the recalls of almond and peanut butter in the U.S., customers have a fundamental right to know what’s in their food.”
Back in November, after companies dumped millions of dollars to attack pro-GMO labeling campaigns, California voters rejected Proposition 37. It should be noted that while the US and Canada have yet to make GMO labeling mandatory, more than 60 countries already have some form of regulation in place.
So why all the fuss? Genetically-engineered food has been a part of American farming since the 1990s and today, much of our produce — corn, potatoes and soybeans, for example — have been altered to become resistant to herbicide and other damaging external factors. In an opinion piece for the NYT, Emily Anthes impresses upon the reader that politics — not science — has slowed down the technological progress we could be reaping from the benefits of GMO food.
Until a conclusion is made, there is no doubt that both sides will continue to spend millions of dollars on the issue and that retailers such as Whole Foods will attempt to find their own solutions to the debate.
H/T + PicThx Gawker