Eat Drink Better

by Tanya Sitton

The push for mandatory GMO labeling continues to gain momentum around the country, as consumers clamor for food industry transparency. Several recent news stories highlight the inevitability of the shifting tides, making conscious eaters optimistic and chemical companies (presumably) quite nervous.

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Whole Foods announced last Friday that all GMO-containing products sold in their stores must be labeled such by 2018, making it the first national grocery chain to embrace GMO transparency.

From Packaging Digest

“We are putting a stake in the ground on GMO labeling to support the consumer’s right to know,” says Walter Robb , co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. “The prevalence of GMOs in the U.S. paired with nonexistent mandatory labeling makes it very difficult to select non-GMO products. We are increasing our support of organic, and we are working with our supplier partners to grow our non-GMO supply chain to ensure we can continue to provide these choices in the future.”

Robb adds, “While we are encouraged by the many mandatory labeling initiatives, we are committed to moving forward with our own GMO transparency plan now.” Following Whole Foods’ lead, Hawaii’s Down to Earth Organic & Natural stores announced this week that they’ll also require labeling on products containing GMO ingredients by 2018.

From Pacific Business News

Mark Fergusson, chief organic officer of Honolulu-based Down to Earth, called the Whole Foods announcement a “game changer.” “It marks a big victory in the move towards the labeling of genetically labeled foods,” Fergusson said in a statement. “Down to Earth will monitor and review the situation and may move our implementation date earlier if that becomes possible.”

In the meantime, the company is gradually eliminating products that may contain GMOs and is avoiding adding any new products that may contain GMO ingredients. In related news, this week State Senator Daylin Leach and a dozen or so cosponsors introduced legislation to require GMO labeling on foods sold in Pennsylvania.

Learn more about GMO Labelling Progress