I am sure by now that most people who are plugged into the natural food movement have heard that Whole Food’s market has decreed that by 2018 all foods containing GMOs need to be labeled in their stores.  If you haven’t heard about this, you can go read the article here.  I have found the response to this decree to be a little bit interesting, and I just have to throw my two cents into the mix.

What I have seen, instead of the rampant celebrating that I expected from the pure food movement, has been about equal parts of “why isn’t the government doing this” and “Why aren’t they doing it now”?  I personally find this reaction quite puzzling, which is why I felt compelled to speak.

 

wholefoods

First, I don’t shop at whole foods.  I think in the entire time that I have lived near them in Tucson, I have set foot in their store once, because I wanted to see what they had.  The short answer, is that they had the products I normally buy at higher prices.  I feel when you are shopping there, you are buying a nice slice of status symbol along with your products.  However, they have built a thriving business, so good for them.  The also clearly are willing to put their money where their mouth is and stand up to what will no doubt be an expensive legal process, so also good for them.

NOGMOSo the first type of criticism I have seen is some people saying the states should label the GMO ingredients.  Yes they should, but that is you putting your faith in the very institutions that allowed us to be eating this poison in the first place.  They sold us out to the GMO industry years ago.  So why the hell would we trust them to protect us now?

A state has no vested interest in protecting it citizens.  It has only a vested interest in protecting it’s own power and influence.  As long as they can stay comfortable ensconced in their throne, they would sell us out in a heartbeat.  If the states ever do bother to get up off their butts and label GMOs, the law would have so many loopholes as to be a meaningless joke.  Take a look at the requirements for Organic, and why they don’t match Europe if you don’t believe me.

So no, the government is not the answer.  Unlike a state, a business has a vested interest in serving it’s customers demands.  If they don’t serve, they lose business, and cease to exist.  So while the State of California has no interest in you, Safeway and Whole Foods and Kroger, etc do.  They want what’s in your wallet.  Pushing that lever will get change enacted much faster, since we have a viable alternative to a grocery store that won’t play ball.

The second type of criticism I see is people saying “Why wait till 2018, do it now”.  I looked, and I haven’t seen an official statement from Whole Foods on that, if I am wrong then correct me, but I have my own theories.

First, GMOs are in almost everything.  If Whole Foods want’s to offer GMO free corn tomorrow, I am willing to be they couldn’t do it.  Same with wheat products at right now.  So if they enacted this tomorrow, either their whole store would be labeled, costing them business, or their shelves would be empty, costing them business.  I think they want the time to make this more than just an empty gesture.  They want to setup an actual alternative to the GMO crap.  That will take some time, and I say good for them.

Second, take a Popsicle stick and break it in your hands.  Pretty easy.  Take 50 Popsicle sticks and try to break them.  Good luck.  If Whole Foods switches over right now, they stand alone.  They have 340 locations worldwide.  They are a drop in the bucket.  I think they are going to try to gather other retailers to the same standard.  If Whole Foods stands alone, they can be ignored.  If Whole Foods stands together with even 10% of the industry, they just changed the world.  So I think even now, little meetings are happening, trying to get more people on-board, and I think it will work.

So let’s not do that thing that we always do people.  When we get what we want, we should be happy, instead of just bitching about how it isn’t perfect.  We should be grateful that at least one company is standing up for us, as best they can.  The pioneers always have it hardest, so rather than complaining, lets give them the kudos they deserve.

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