"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.