March 11, 2013
Whole Foods has announced that, by 2018, it will label all products in its stores that contain genetically-modified ingredients.
Mike Adams, at naturalnews.com, has written an excellent article covering this development. You should read it.
Whole Foods cites customers’ concerns as a major reason for its change in policy. One picture of the future: by overwhelming popular acclaim, non-GMO products at Whole Foods stores will squeeze out GMO products.
The other picture? At some point, customers will lose interest in the new labeling program and buy whatever they want to eat, regardless of whether it contains GMOs.
Monsanto views labeling as less than ideal, but far better than outright county-by-county bans on growing GMO crops. Several counties in California, for example, have already enacted such bans. That’s the real threat to the Monsanto crime empire.
Monsanto, with its very deep pockets, can sustain an endless propaganda campaign aimed at convincing consumers that GMO food is equivalent, in all ways, to non-GMO. So far, this PR blitz has won over most politicians, as well as a major sector of the technologically-educated class.
So what will happen, up the road, as Whole Foods customers move beyond their initial excitement at being able to tell whether they’re buying GMOs? Will they continue to care? Or will the labels evoke about as much interest as fat and carb content do now?
If Whole Foods’ buying public falls into apathy on the GMO issue, presumably the stores will continue to offer GMO products in profusion, because the cash registers keep ringing.
As Whole Foods bosses calculate their strategies, there is another obvious point that must be hammered home. Again. GMO food is nutritionally polluted, deficient, and, in the case of the Roundup Ready crops, drenched with far more toxic chemicals than would ordinarily be present.
Farmers across America, who have locked themselves into contracts with Monsanto, are now facing disaster, because superweeds that don’t fold up and die under assault from the Roundup herbicide are taking over their growing fields.
So the farmers are doing what are called burndowns. Not once, but several times a year, they’re saturating their land with chemicals stronger than Roundup, like Paraquat, which has been banned in 32 countries. The burndowns are undertaken to kill the march of the superweeds. This means more toxicity in the soil and in the food crops.
To present customers with the choice of buying GMO or non-GMO food in stores isn’t like making a distinction between red tomatoes and orange tomatoes. It’s not even an assertion that GMOs are unhealthy. It’s: “let the customer decide.”
By this logic, selling food containing, say, high levels of mercury, is acceptable because “people want it.”
The trouble, of course, begins with Monsanto and its government-agency allies, who insist, based on nothing, that GMOs are safe and non-toxic. From there, it appears that consumer choice is sane policy.
But it isn’t sane. That’s an illusion.
Yes, we can say that Whole Foods has made a step in the right direction, but that’s only true if its customers will really shun GMOs. And in the meantime, this “let the consumer decide” is a deception.
“Well, we’re in business to make money. We can’t just strip all GMO products off the shelves. We have to bow to the free market, to the customer.”
If that’s really Whole Foods’ position, then let them state it clearly. Don’t beat around the bush while you’re breaking your arm patting yourself on the back.
“Yes, like every other retailer in America, we’re selling bad products. We know they’re bad. They’re called GMOs. Nobody should be eating GMOs, but what the hell are we going to do?”
Of course, this kind of honesty would be a killer in the world of consumerism. It’s also one reason why GMO food has proliferated to this point. It’s a rare company that wants to step up to the plate and speak the unvarnished truth.
“Hey, we sell shit. Lots of it. But don’t blame us. You people want to buy it. You want it, we stock it. That’s the reality.”
Try this one on for size. Do you support the sale of ANYTHING, no matter WHAT it contains? Do you support poison in food, along with a major operation of concealment, so that the majority of the buying public isn’t informed that the poison is in their food? Is that okay? Is that LEGAL?
The answer to the last question is, of course, no. It’s not legal.
Unless corporate and government liars have been able to make it legal by passing the buck of responsibility and selling their souls to foist a clear criminal conspiracy on the citizenry. Which is exactly what happened.
Whole Foods, according to their statements, is betting on the consumer to dictate what the stores will sell. Underneath it all, Whole Foods seems to be saying, “We’re standing here watching you consumers, and we hope you make the right choice. Because a lot of that crap you’re buying now, in our stores, is no good for you. It’s bad. If you wake up and make your enlightened preferences known, we’ll follow and we’ll cheer your decision. But if not, we’ll keep selling you the food that’s bad for you and should be illegal.”
I don’t find myself applauding that position. I don’t find myself feeling warm inside about Whole Foods.
Again, yes, it’s better than nothing. But many things are better than nothing and yet don’t rise to the level of a peace prize, or a medal, or a misty response of heartfelt joy.
For the next five years, as Whole Foods starts labeling GMO products in their stores, they should undertake a full-bore education campaign across America. They should book halls and have their execs stand up and say:
“You know that big sign we have posted on our stores? ‘Nothing artificial, ever?’ That’s bullshit. Listen, for a lot of years now, you the consumer and we the seller have been involved in a scam. It’s called GMO food. We want this to end. We also don’t want to go broke. Help us and help yourselves. Here’s the complete evidence that we’ve been selling, and you’ve been buying, food that is harmful to your health. You and we are in an embrace, in this very bad spiral. We have to get out of it.”
That would be a start, but the chances of it happening are on a par with a flea driving a Mercedes on the moon.
And it wouldn’t begin to address the fact that toxic GMO food shouldn’t, by any reasonable law, be sold at all.
You also might keep an eye on corporate mergers and acquisitions, just in case Whole Foods decides to sell itself to a larger (and more predatory) company. Anything could happen in the next five years.
Here are a few of the largest shareholders in Whole Foods. They’re investment funds: JP Morgan Large Cap Growth Select; Wells Fargo Advantage Growth Inv; Fidelity Growth Company; JNL/Mellon Cap Management; T Rowe Price Growth Stock. Given this array of stock owners, it might be easier to step out into the spotlight and promote GMO labeling than to say, “Look, we’re eliminating GMO products from our stores, they’ll all be gone in a few years, no matter what.”
And what will Whole Foods do if, as they gradually place GMO labels on their products, those products continue to sell about as well as they’re selling now with no labels? Will the company keep pushing its pure agenda, or will it simply acquiesce, and end up with a half-GMO and half-non-GMO inventory, to “accommodate all tastes?”
An analogous question, to put this all into perspective: should drug companies manufacture vaccines with half the vials containing the neurotoxin mercury and half without mercury, so people can choose?
Finally, as food prices escalate (seemingly every week), who are these theoretically enlightened customers who’ll ultimately determine Whole Foods’ GMO policy? Are they, on balance, tough-mindedly dedicated to better health and even activism, or are they are merely following and then abandoning trends: from the $1000 bicycle and the grasshopper helmet and shiny Spandex, to the raw cashew vegan non-dairy ice cream, to the quinoa and kale and chia salad, to the Google Glass, to the gluten-free baby stroller…
Are these the people into whose hands Whole Foods is dropping its destiny? Is this the cutting edge of the non-GMO movement?
The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com
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