Whole Foods has announced that by 2018, all products in its US and Canada stores must be labeled if they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This is the first national grocery store to set a deadline for GMO labeling.
“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 US, paired with nonexistent mandatory labeling, makes it very difficult for retailers to source non-GMO options and for consumers to choose non-GMO products. Accordingly, we are stepping up our support of certified organic agriculture, where GMOs are not allowed, and we are working together with our supplier partners to grow our non-GMO supply chain to ensure we can continue to provide these choices in the future.”
Genetically modified organisms have been manipulated through genetic engineering by introducing changes into DNA structure.
This announcement comes at a time where interest in GMO labeling is at an all-time high. During the 2012 November election, Prop 37 – a mandatory GMO labeling initiative – was introduced in California. Millions of dollars poured in from various corporations such as Monsanto and PepsiCo against the ballot measure, which was ultimately defeated.
A recent poll by The Huffington Post in partnership with YouGov found that a huge majority – 82 percent – of Americans want labels for GMO food.