(NaturalNews) Whole Foods customers have a love/hate relationship with the natural and organic foods giant. They have run afoul of their customer base before - remember the mass outcry and call for boycott as a result of comments thrown about by the CEO regarding health care rights (http://www.naturalnews.com/026906_food_foods_whole_foods.html
)? Now there is the issue of mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods being bandied about in a variety of state legislatures - an effort that recent polls indicate 90 percent of America is in favor of - and Whole Foods is again being called upon to make a decision that is aligned with their espoused business mission.
The problem is a recently leaked internal memo that doesn't indicate their readiness to do so. The memo, in short, acknowledges the dangers of genetically modified foods, yet falls of any real commitment, stating "the reality is that no grocery store in the United States, no matter what size or type of business, can claim they are GE-free..."
Critics are insisting that this isn't enough. The Whole Foods brand is built upon the basic tenant that their products are natural or organic and a good choice for the eco-organic conscious consumer. So for them not to pick up and unquestionably support the movement for mandatory labeling of GE food is for some another disappointing move.
The nonprofit consumer powerhouse the Organic Consumer Association certainly thinks so. They are taking Whole Foods to task for not making the effort to ensure that the foods
they sell are not blighted with the toxic taint of genetic modification. Genetically modified foods have been tied to a host of health problems, ranging from liver/kidney problems to immune dysfunctions (http://www.naturalnews.com/028245_GM_food_side_effects.html
); not to mention environmental ones like genetic contamination, (http://www.naturalnews.com/024154_crops_food_GM.html
) where non-GMO crops are tainted by pollen from GMO crops.
The European community has been successfully battling the widespread planting and importing of GM crops for years. However, the FDA greenlighted GMO foods for U.S. consumption at the bequest of heavy lobbying by companies like Monsanto who over the years has switched their business efforts from creating toxins like Agent Orange to having a stronghold on the manufacture of various genetically engineered seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides.
If the FDA won't step up to protect the American public, then it's time for the companies that reap huge profits from the sale of organic and natural goods to do so. That is what the OCA is trying to get across to stores like Whole Foods
. They can't have it both ways - either these companies stand against genetically engineered foods and refuse to allow them on our grocery shelves without clear labeling, or face the public relations and economic consequences.Sources:http://www.naturalnews.com/028388_GM_crops_kidney_damage.html, http://www.naturalnews.com/organic_food.html, http://www.naturalnews.com/029183_GM_crops_Frankenfoods.html, http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22991.cfm
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