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Whole Foods Sets the Standard & Will Label All Genetically Modified Foods by 2018

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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 NYTEmily 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

 

By Charisma Madarang

Charisma has an undying love for gritty literature and drinks coffee like water. She also hails from Toronto, Canada and is a die-hard Maple Leafs fan, sigh.

2 replies on “Whole Foods Sets the Standard & Will Label All Genetically Modified Foods by 2018”

Usually, I read your articles and think the writing is witty, clever and so so funny. This, however, is a poorly researched and poorly written. Besides that GMOs reduce the biodiversity of plants (in 1995, GMO soybeans were 8% cultivated for the US market; in 2010, GMOs make up 93% which has nearly annihilated most species of soybeans ), they are also made by massive corporations like Bayer and Monsanto whose practices threaten, intimidate and bankrupt farmers on the basis of “intellectual property.” You quote a pro-genetic modification author who supports engineered pets, half cyborg-half animal, and ponders how mind control technology which can currently turn an animal into a remote controlled cyborg can become a military weapon. Where is the balance in this story? Also, by millions of dollars being spent on both sides of the debate may be accurate, it does not give the real picture. The No on Prop 37 side (funded by biotech companies that produce seeds) raised $45M to the campaign while the Yes side raised $5M. Clearly, the US food industry sees a disadvantage to telling consumers what is actually in their food, lost profits. I’m sure there is some kind of technological progress that could stem from the proliferation of GMO food, as Emily Anthes suggests. But she her writing reminds me of the description of Dr. Frankenstein, a scientist so intrigued and fascinated by the possibility of scientific advancement and creation that he didn’t realize that he was creating a monster until he was done.

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