Skip to content

Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s Sell GMO Foods–With No GMO Label

May 9, 2011
Customers waiting in line to check out at the ...

Image via Wikipedia

Do you like “guerilla theater” for GMO foods?

“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. While we have been and will continue to be staunch supporters of non-GE foods, we are not going to mislead our customers with an inaccurate claim… We have advocated for mandatory labeling of GE foods since 1992…”

—  Whole Foods Market Internal Company Memo 1/30/2011

“Whole Foods claim they support mandatory labeling of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). Well, where are the labels on the vast array of non-organic foods in their stores that contain genetically engineered soybeans, corn, canola, cottonseed oil, or sugar beets? Where are the labels on their so-called “natural” meat, eggs, or dairy products, reared on GMO grains and animal drugs?”

—  Protester in front of a San Francisco Whole Foods Market, April 11, 2011

After two decades of biotech bullying by Monsanto and Food Inc., a grassroots movement of organic consumers and farmers is rising up across the United States. Inspired by the success of their European counterparts in driving genetically engineered crops and foods off the market, not through an EU ban, but through mandatory labeling, several thousand protesters took to the streets on March 26, 2011 in 30 different cities, under the banner of  “Rally for the Right to Know,” and “Millions Against Monsanto.”

At the same time, anti-GMO activists have stepped up the pace of grassroots lobbying, successfully pressuring state legislators in at least 14 states to introduce bills calling for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Reflecting widespread public concern over the health and environmental hazards of GMOs, recent polls by National Public Radio and MSNBC have found that more than 90% of Americans support mandatory labeling. Mandatory labeling of GMOs, of course, is bitterly opposed by Monsanto and the supermarket lobby, who understand, as a Monsanto executive admitted, “If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”

Angered by the Obama administration’s recent controversial approvals of GMO alfalfa, salmon, sugar beets, and corn, and the compromise or surrender of organic industry leaders, including Whole Foods, in agreeing to accept the “co-existence,” of GMO and organic crops and foods, organic consumers across the U.S. have decided to take matters into their own hands.

Spearheaded by the industry watchdog group, the Organic Consumers Association, and powerful alternative health consumer networks such as and, millions of health and environmental-minded consumers are starting to demand that the $60 billion “natural” products industry take GMO products off their shelves, or at least clearly label them, so that consumers can seek certified organic and other GMO-free alternatives.

In an interview at the Green Festival in San Francisco on April 9, Alexis Baden-Mayer, OCA Campaign Director, explained the strategy behind the Millions Against Monsanto Truth-in-Labeling Campaign.

“Over 90% of Americans want GE-tainted foods labeled. Why? So that we can avoid buying these foods.  This is a major reason why millions of us are buying certified organic products, which preclude the use of GE ingredients, as well as toxic chemicals and animal drugs. Since the politicians in Washington apparently prefer to listen to Monsanto rather than their constituents, we need to put our efforts where we currently have the most power, in our local communities, especially at the retail grocery store level, where 50 million of us are regularly buying certified organic and so-called ‘natural’ foods.

“What most green consumers don’t understand yet, is that most of the so-called “natural” processed foods and animal products (which make up 2/3 of the sales of Whole Foods Market) that we are still buying are GMO-contaminated. Either they contain GMO ingredients like soy, corn, canola, cottonseed oil or sugar beet sweetener, or else the animals have been force-fed fed a steady diet of GMO grains and drugs.

“We need to clean up our act and walk our talk in the green and natural products sector. We need to tell natural food giants like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s that you can’t claim to support GMO labeling, and then proceed to sell billions of dollars of unlabeled GMO food in your stores, greenwashed as ‘natural.’ We’re protesting this week in front of Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s to make our views on GMOs absolutely clear. Like our banners say: ‘GMOs: Don’t buy them! Don’t sell them! Don’t grow them!’ Once we drive GMOs out of our organic and natural food stores, or at least force retailers to label them, we will then be able to turn our attention to conventional supermarkets and do the same thing.”

“But this means we’ve got to build a mass movement of Millions Against Monsanto. By World Food Day, October 16, we plan to mobilize a powerful and unprecedented coalition that can pressure, and if necessary boycott, industry leaders such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s…”

Across the U.S. and the world, people are fed up. Moving beyond ineffectual compromise and co-existence with a green-washed business-as-usual and politics-as-usual, more and more of us are drawing lines in the sand. Nuclear power, genetic engineering, dirty coal and other out-of-control technologies have revealed themselves for what they really are: deadly threats to our survival. Monsanto has deservedly become one of the most hated corporations on earth. It’s time to drive their evil products out of the marketplace, starting with the green or natural products sector, utilizing the most powerful tools at our disposal, public education, agitation, and Truth-in-Labeling. Get up. Stand up for your rights. Tell Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s to stop selling Monsanto’s unlabeled genetically modified organisms. Join the Millions Against Monsanto Campaign.

Enhanced by Zemanta
12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2011 2:14 pm

    Please label gmo foods!

    • Mike permalink
      December 9, 2011 12:02 am

      They wont. Government agencies like USDA and FDA are paid off by Monstanto NOT to label GMO foods the proper way. Same reason with using the word “natural” in food labels which is least to say deceiving. Corrupted crooks have infected the system so deeply that I personally see no hope.
      Key figures from business like Michael Taylor change positions between Monsanto and FDA on regular basis so they keep their sinister operations the way they like.
      Obama even chose this same guy to be his “Food Advisor”. Corruption scheme up there is beyond any control.
      Best thing left for all of us to do is read, read and read. Educate ourselves and others of all tricks these evil corporations have up their sleeves.

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        December 12, 2011 8:05 pm

        We can also grow our own foods. Yes, Obama is shoulder deep in Monsanto.

  2. Jen permalink
    September 7, 2011 3:20 am

    Trader Joes works with sellers that only produce Non-GMO… They have a lot of 100% grass fed beef and you will never see HFCS in their stores. Some of their sources comes from abroad… much from other countries where GMO is banned. (It is also cheaper because they don’t have Monsanto’s bully cop org… the FDA… coming to shut them down with regs)… There are some farms that use pesticides but not GMO seeds/farms… And some of their beef isn’t 100% grass fed but do go to feed lots… but non-gmo feed lots… they do exist… (odd though it is)… and 100% grass fed means no GMOs… even when it is not organic…. It would be interesting to get some facts on TJs before lumping them in with Whole Paycheck.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      September 7, 2011 4:58 pm

      How do you know this? Where did you get your facts? Is there site to which you could direct readers?


  1. Educate yourself – learn about Monsanto, GMO foods and industry lobbying… « Under The LobsterScope
  2. Boycott GMO Companies Such as Dean Foods – From OCA « Karinconway's Blog
  3. Dean Foods Might As Well Sell Monsanto-Brand Milk « Unasked Advice
  4. May 7 Promise from Whole Foods to Explain | Whole Foods Nation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: