Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association has been protesting Whole Foods for several years, demanding the company label the GMOs it sells. Whole Foods management has foolishly ignored him.
In fact, until recently his efforts achieved relatively little traction, but all of a sudden “he appears to be a prophet,” a friend told me yesterday. Yep, Ronnie Cummins was right, and the fact that Whole Foods has sternly resisted labeling the GMOs it sells has the company in a virtual P.R. panic.
Why? Because Whole Foods CEO John Mackey confirmed in a blog post three days ago that Whole Foods knowingly sells Monsanto GM corn in numerous products. And yet at the same time Whole Foods refuses to make its day-to-day shoppers aware of this horrifying fact. He says:
The YouTube video showing our store Team Members giving conflicting responses to a question about GMOs reminds us that while we try to keep all our 70,000 Team Members up-to-speed on the latest information, clearly we need to do more. Some products in our stores DO contain GMOs…
As a result, masses of Whole Foods customers and even employees are operating under the illusion that Whole Foods sells no products containing genetically engineered ingredients. This was confirmed by the recent Organic Spies video was censored by YouTube because it dared to tell the truth about Whole Foods.
Whole Foods shoppers have been betrayed
Imagine the shock of brutal reality when Whole Foods shoppers learn the truth. They will be appalled. They will feel lied to… betrayed. Wasn’t Whole Foods supposed to be a place of TRUST? Where the food could be trusted? Where people don’t have to conduct their own investigations of all the ingredients because Whole Foods has already done that for them? Isn’t that why people are willing to pay a premium for the groceries they buy at Whole Foods?
It turns out that Whole Foods sells a surprising amount of the same GMO-infested processed junk foods that you can buy everywhere else: Safeway, Kroger, etc. It’s all emblazoned with the “Natural!” claim, of course, which usually means “Contains GMOs” because the word “natural” has absolutely no regulatory meaning whatsoever. And instead of doing something about it, Whole Foods CEO Mackey just says GMOs are “pervasive” as if there’s nothing that can be done about it. Does he not understand that Whole Foods could simply refuse to BUY foods containing GMOs?
Does Mackey not realize that if he had listened to Ronnie Cummins two years ago, his company wouldn’t be in this P.R. nightmare right now, with its own employees caught lying about the genetically modified foods sold by Whole Foods? When corporate giants fail to listen to intelligent critics, they only end up destroying themselves, of course. And Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM) may yet see extreme losses to investors and shareholders if it doesn’t get in front of this GMO issue immediately.
If I owned any stock in Whole Foods — which I don’t, of course — I would be SELLING it like mad right now… especially since I have a fairly good idea of what’s yet to come out about Whole Foods. It’s hard-hitting, I tell you. Their P.R. train wreck is about to get much worse before the November vote on Proposition 37. (There is a solution Whole Foods could immediately embrace to end all this, by the way. Simply announce a $2 million donation to Prop 37 and all the critics are immediately silenced. Problem solved.)
Introducing WholeSanto, the genetically modified corporate logo
All this also means that Whole Foods is a huge indirect financial supporter of Monsanto through the food supply chain. Whole Foods takes money from customers who buy things, then it sends that money to food producers who, in turn, send that money to farmers growing GM crops. Those farmers, of course, send that money to Monsanto for genetically modified seeds. So buying these GMO products from Whole Foods is essentially stuffing dollars into the pocket of Monsanto.
That’s why I developed the following image, which I call a “genetically modified corporate logo.” It’s a hybrid, actually, of Whole Foods and Monsanto:
Feel free to use this image to your heart’s delight. It’s all done as Free Speech satire for purposes of education and commentary in the public interest.
Now, what makes all this really special is that Whole Foods flatly refuses to accurately label the products it sells as containing genetically engineered ingredients. So you, the Whole Foods shoppers, don’t even have an informed CHOICE about what to buy. Whole Foods is anti-choice, in other words, when it comes to GMOs. It’s all about just hiding the GMOs inside “natural” foods and then hoping their customers are stupid enough to not know any better. (Which, shockingly, turns out to be largely true as you’ll see in a follow-up article. The vast majority of Whole Foods shoppers are currently clueless about GMOs. That’s about to radically change, however…)
In its attempted defense, Whole Foods says it cannot label other companies’ products. This is a cop-out, of course. Much like Wal-Mart, Whole Foods has the retailing muscle to make precisely such demands of its product suppliers. If Whole Foods announced, for example, that all the products it carries must be accurately labeled with their GMO content by January 1, 2014, nearly everyone would comply. But no such announcement has ever been made by Whole Foods. Instead of demanding that products tell the truth, Whole Foods seems smugly satisfied with its “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of looking the other way on deceptively labeled foods.
And so far that formula of deception has worked. Not only are many Whole Foods customers totally ignorant about this fact, but as the Organic Spies video recently showed, Whole Foods employees are also outrageously misinformed about GMOs, too. Many Whole Foods employees literally looked right into the camera and said, with a straight face, things like, “Whole Foods sells NO GMOs whatsoever.”
Really? Are they seriously that ignorant of the products they’re stocking on the shelves and helping customers purchase?
Now, granted, Whole Foods is a large company with tens of thousands of employees. You can’t expect every employee to know everything, of course, but this issue of GMOs is the No. 1 concern among informed consumers. It’s number one, folks. There is nothing else more important to them right now. So how can Whole Foods fail to at least release a memo to its employees on the number one health concern sweeping America right now?
What this failure reveals is that Whole Foods practices a cover-up culture. It’s almost a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about GMOs. It’s the shhhhh! secret at Whole Foods. Don’t talk about it! Don’t ask questions about it! And for God’s sake don’t label it! Because the truth would freak out all our customers! How dare you even ask about this? Hush! Hush!
Whole Foods has built itself on a treacherous lie
And so Whole Foods has built itself on a terrible lie: Whole Foods sells masses of products made with Monsanto’s genetically modified corn — the very same strain of corn that French researchers linked to horrifying cancer tumors in rats.
It’s only a matter of time, of course, before more and more Whole Foods customers figure this out. And as they do, the tide of anger against Whole Foods will continue to gain steam. There will be outrage. There will be protests. There will be masses of people returning products to Whole Foods and demanding their money back.
In fact, that day has already been scheduled. It’s October 16th, the “take your GMO junk back” day — actually known as “World Food Day” — where Whole Foods customers are being encouraged to return masses of GMO products they purchased at whole foods.
Much more coming soon
Folks, you have no idea what’ about to hit the ‘net regarding Whole Foods over the next three weeks. I can tell you it is the most hard-hitting tidal wave of grassroots activism I’ve ever seen in my ten years of writing about the natural health industry. By the time this is over, people will be dressing up as Whole Foods for Halloween because it’s so scary to shop there.
And it’s not just Natural News that’s openly and justifiably criticizing Whole Foods in the public interest. It’s a long list of grassroots activists, all doing their own thing, completely decentralized and individually motivated for their own reasons. You are about to witness a REVOLT against Whole Foods, the likes of which you have never witnessed before, and this revolt has no leader! It’s everyone who feels betrayed by Whole Foods and wants this company to change — IMMEDIATELY!
Because behind closed doors, even all of us who are criticizing Whole Foods secretly hope the company sees the light and comes out in support of Proposition 37 and GMO labeling. After all, Whole Foods is worth saving. Myself and countless others would love to return there one day and start shopping there again, and we’d love to publish words of praise instead of criticism. I’ve even written glowing reviews of Whole Foods in the past, and I’d like to do it again. But we won’t do it if the company hides behind deceptive labels and fails to do the right thing on GMOs.
I believe this is a do-or-die moment for Whole Foods. History in the making. If this company doesn’t come out in support of Proposition 37 in a huge way, I think Whole Foods is done for, and I think we will see it abandoned by its customers and then end in a downward spiral of bankruptcy. I don’t want to see that happen, though. Like I said, Whole Foods is worth saving. The question is: Will Whole Foods take the necessary actions to save itself? Or will its arrogance prove to be its undoing?