Thursday, July 23, 2009

Whole Foods Takes A Stand On GMO - Finally A Retailer With Some Courage

What ever happened to the days of "farm fresh" produce? It seems like those days are long gone and if we want that fresh picked flavor we are going to have to get in our cars and make the drive to the closest roadside produce stand (not a very "green" thing to do). Of course we have the alternative of paying the higher prices for "organic" produce in our neighborhood grocer, but it still isn't the same, is it? Commercal growers/farmers from all over the country are concerned with their ever-dwindling profit margins from farming operations. The race for them is to develop drought resistant, pest resistant, weed resistant, etc. crops that taste better and stay fresher longer. Enter the GMO process.

GMO, or Genetically Modified Organisms, is basically the cloning of living plant organisms, i.e., taking the genes from an unrelated species of plant and inserting them into genes of other living plant organisms, thereby creating a "Superplant" of some sort. As an example, Monsanto (the huge chemical giant and maker of the Round Up) pesticide line, has created a line of "Round Up Ready" plant seeds that are resistant to the pesticide. This way the famer who uses these seeds can spray his crops with as much Round Up as he wants, thereby killing everything in the field, except for the Round Up Ready GMO plants. Personally I don't want to eat anything from that field, do you??

Unfortunately there is no government requirement of any kind to label foods that are made from or contain GMO products. This should be a fact that every health conscious consumer would want to know. Whole Foods Markets (Austin, TX) appears to be the first major retailer to take any sort of stand or position on GMO. They are going to require the testing of all of their "private label" products to ensure that they are GMO free. In partnership with the Non-GMO project, Whole Foods will seek the independent verification that its private label (365) products are GMO free. This appears to be the first step towards their own requirement of GMO labeling on all products sold in their stores (well at least we can hope).

Finally, with regard to stevia, our readers should be advised that Truvia and PureVia both contain Erythritol (a corn sugar) that is, more likely than not, made from GMO corn. Neither will admit it, but neither will deny either. Make your own decision. SweetLeaf Sweetener is 100% natural, non-GMO (made with all natural Inulin from Chicory).

Stay GMO free.

Stevia Wizard

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