Whole Foods Removes GMOs from Grocery List


Whole Foods Market made a big step in food retail this month. The corporate giant that dominates the healthfood market is leading their customers away from GMOs. The company joined the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program this month. The Non-GMO Project is a consortium of people, businesses, and organizations who are committed to cutting GMO’s out of our food stream. This non-profit organization has now established the first scientifically-based, third-party system in North America for identifying if a product is GMO-free — the Product Verification Program.

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The fairly new Product Verification Program is what Whole Foods has been searching since GMOs came to the US, the company says.


According to Margaret Wittenberg, Whole Foods Market global vice president of quality standards:

From the moment GMOs were approved for use in the U.S., we recognized the need for transparency, but there was no definitive standard by which to evaluate or label products. We searched high and low for years for a way to do this and now, thankfully, the Non-GMO Project has answered that challenge by creating a standard and a practical system by which manufacturers may measure their products. At last, shoppers concerned about foods made with genetically modified ingredients will be able to make informed choices.

Other countries around the world are banning GMO ‘agriculture’ and products. The US has no bans on GMOs and does not even require that products be labeled if they contain GMOs. “In 30 other countries around the world, including Australia, Japan and all of the nations in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production of GMOs, due to environmental impact and concerns about GMO safety,” said Megan Thompson, executive director of the Non-GMO Project. Despite the fact that most of the processed food in the US probably contains GMOs, most Americans don’t know anything about GMOs.

The Non-GMO project includes consumers, manufacturers (i.e Eden Foods, Organic Valley, Lundberg Family Farms, and Nature’s Path Organic), retailers (i.e. The Natural Grocery Company, The Big Carrot Natural Food Market, and Good Earth Natural Foods), processors, distributors, farmers, and seed breeders.

To learn more about Whole Foods Market’s involvement in the Product Verification Program, and the program itself, they are hosting a webinar on August 26. Their press release about the project can also be found here.
For more information on the Non-GMO Project, click here.

To learn more about GMOs, see these previous links on Eat.Drink.Better.:

Wheatless Wednesday: 6 Reasons to Reject Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready Wheat

Leading Hospital System Takes Stand Against Animal Cloning and GE Ingredients

Food Policy Friday: United States, Australia, and Canada Announce Joint Efforts to Develop Genetically Modified Wheat

GMO’s and the Fruit Sticker: 8 is NOT great! 9 is fine!

Nude Kona Coffee Makers Make Their Point, Naturally

Image credit 1: M.V. Janzen via flickr under a Creative Commons license

Image credit 2: newyork808 via flickr under a Creative Commons license

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is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.
  • Valentine Dyall

    Thank you for telling me that Whole Foods Market will be avoiding GMOs in future. If the store policy makers are that short-sighted and influenced by the anti-GM panic-mongers, I will be sure to avoid Whole Foods Market in future.

  • Steve Savage

    There is no rational scientific reason for this decision. Probably just a way to try to boost sagging sales in a down economy. Its actually a form of “greenwashing” and Whole Foods should be ashamed for doing it (again!)

  • Mrs. White

    Thank you Whole Foods. I’m really tired of spending hours in the grocery store trying to avoid GM foods.
    Now I can shop worry-free.

  • Arthur Roper

    Thanks Whole Foods! There is no reason we should be forced to eat gmo’s without our knowledge. Some of us have allergies.

  • Mo N. Santo

    I think that’s great news! Hope other local stores follow. Watch documentary “The World According to Monsanto” on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9GZ6gnwhU0) and then tell me GMOs are good for us/this planet. Get informed folks!
    -Mo N. Santo

  • julie tate

    can you please tell me where the nearest store to my town in Indiana?

    • Hey there! Whole Foods should have store locator on the website. :)

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  • Our bodies are very finely tuned mechanisms; our ability to take in nourishment is something which has evolved over countless millennia. What’s “irrational” is to assume that it’s fine to alter the fundamental nature of food, using our terribly crude understanding of genetic modification, without consequence. This is really wonderful news.