In a huge victory for the alternative media and grassroots activism, Whole Foods announced on Friday that it would require GMO labels on all products by 2018. (Click here for the press release.) This announcement deals a significant blow to Monsanto, DuPont and all the GMO pushers who openly admit that they want consumers to remain ignorant about what they’re eating.
It’s a brilliant move for Whole Foods, given that by 2018, anyone who wants to be certain whether they are avoiding GMOs will gladly choose to do all their shopping at Whole Foods. After all, if Albertson’s (for example) doesn’t require GMO labeling while Whole Foods does, in which store would you rather shop? Whole Foods!
But the real story here is everything that led up to this. The turning point in all this was, in my opinion, the 2012 release of the Organic Spies video in which Whole Foods employees were caught on camera lying to customers about GMOs.
Natural News broke this story and was instrumental in getting the video posted on our free speech protected video service TV.naturalnews.com, a public location which could not be easily banned by Whole Foods. YouTube, by comparison, routinely bans videos that blow the whistle on dishonest corporate behavior, but TV.naturalnews.com hosts whistleblowing videos and has so far resisted all attempts to have those videos banned or removed. (We even host most of the Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory series, including the “memory-holed” FEMA camp episode that has disappeared everywhere else.)
This Organic Spies video proved to be hugely embarrassing to Whole Foods, causing an uproar across the ‘net and causing many customers to start shopping elsewhere such as Green PolkaDot Box, which avoids carrying any products containing GMOs.
Following the Organic Spies video, InfoWars reporters Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton launched a breakthrough video investigation that exposed the “big Whole Foods lie” of claiming “Nothing artificial, ever” on the side of their stores while secretly selling unlabeled GMOs in their stores. We also documented the “Nothing artificial, ever” fraud here on Natural News. GMOs are, of course, “artificial.” They are engineered by man, not created by nature. In this video, Whole Foods was caught in yet another blatant, embarrassing lie.
The Prop 37 campaign was also in full swing during all this, and Whole Foods refused to contribute a single dollar to the California ballot measure. After being confronted and publicly shamed, a Whole Foods executive did quietly contribute $25,000, but only after being called out for failing to support the campaign.
Alternative media holds Whole Foods’ feet to the fire
Add all this up and you get the impression that Whole Foods was actively opposed to GMO labeling. And it was the alternative media that was holding Whole Foods’ feet to the fire. While the mainstream media refused to even touch the issue (because mainstream media is nothing more than a dumbed-down, cartoon-level disinfo broadcast for morons and sheeple), the alternative media plowed full steam ahead. Natural News, InfoWars, Mercola, the Organic Consumers Association, the Institute for Responsible Technology and many other organizations kept hammering the issue, and tens of millions of grassroots activists made their voices heard in a resounding way.
Through various back channels, Whole Foods got the message loud and clear that there was no way they were going to be able to stop this. The alternative media can’t be easily bought off because the key people who run the alternative media aren’t in it for money (unlike the mainstream media).
If Whole Foods didn’t get fully behind the mandatory labeling of GMOs, it was going to find itself in a runaway confidence crisis. After all, if health-conscious customers can’t trust Whole Foods to be transparent with them about what’s really in their foods, there’s not much of a reason to shop at Whole Foods, is there?
Whole Foods capitulates and decides to require labeling
Sometime between November 2012 and March 2013, Whole Foods executives made a decision to finally get behind GMO labeling. They announced that all the foods they carry would need to be labeled with GMO content by 2018. As StreetInsider.com reports:
Whole Foods Market announced… that, by 2018, all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It is the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO transparency.
On the surface, this was immediately heralded as a highly ethical leadership decision by the market leader in health food retailing, but behind the scenes an entirely different equation was being calculated. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey never makes a decision unless it’s in his financial interest to do so, and as his history of false-identity Wild Oats blogging shows, he’s not beyond engaging in wild deceptions in order to make more money for himself and his investors.
Ultimately, Mackey and the Whole Foods executives realized what I’ve been trying to tell them for months: That if they didn’t get behind GMO labeling, they were going to lose everything. Promoting GMO labeling isn’t simple a choice of ethics for Whole Foods, it’s a matter of economic survival.
And what made that decision carry weight? The alternative media.
Whole Foods decision is huge victory for alternative media and grassroots activism
Without Natural News, Organic Consumers Association, Jeffrey Smith, Info Wars and millions of grassroots activists pounding this issue day after day, the cost of Whole Foods doing nothing would not have been high enough to alter the equation. Whole Foods made this decision precisely because of Natural News, the Organic Spies, Info Wars and other alternative media organizations. Because Whole Foods knows that we will not drop this issue and we were going to keep hammering this issue in a very public manner if they did not come out and announce support for GMO labeling.
So in one sense, Whole Foods deserves credit for doing the right thing in this announcement, but at another level they were forced into that position by people like you, the readers of the alternative media.
Whole Foods will deny all this, of course. They will claim this decision was nothing more than a response to the requests of their many customers. But those requests were largely caused by people learning about this entire issue from the alternative media, which has really become the new mainstream media because we are the only sources of real news these days (and we’re not run by the White House or mega corporations).
The way Whole Foods explains all this, however, they made this decision solely because they are impressively angelic in their hearts and minds. As Whole Foods President A.C. Gallo says: “We have always believed quality and transparency are inseparable and that providing detailed information about our products is part of satisfying and delighting the millions of people who place their trust in Whole Foods Market each day.”
That quote is a complete load of bull, of course. In truth, Whole Foods has systematically deceived its customers about GMOs for many years. It has placed signs on its stores that are blatantly false and misleading: “Nothing artificial, ever!” And it has waged a campaign of total disinformation about the GMOs that continue to be sold right now in not just the food products, but also the supplements it retails. (Yes, many supplements sold at Whole Foods are loaded with genetically modified ingredients.)
So don’t let Whole Foods fool you into thinking this is all about “doing the right thing.” If anything, Whole Foods has decided to do the right thing only as a last resort, after being forced to do so by the alternative media and grassroots activists. As Winston Churchill famously said in the European theater of World War II, “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing… after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”
Ultimately, it’s hard-working people like Ronnie Cummins and Jeffrey Smith who really deserve the credit for Whole Foods making this move.
That’s why all this is a victory for grassroots activism over corporate deception. This shows the power of the alternative media to connect people in ways that achieve real change. This shows that when push comes to shove, the alternative media is in many ways more powerful than the lying mainstream media which has engaged in a shameful GMO cover-up.
What happens next
Despite everything written above, if Whole Foods has the guts to make a public announcement like this, they will have my support in this endeavor. It’s a gutsy move to publicly oppose Monsanto and the wholly corrupt, mafia-minded biotech industry.
No doubt Whole Foods is going to endure unbelievable heat for this. You can fully expect a lawsuit to be filed by Monsanto against the retailer, and even the USDA and FDA will likely get involved. Remember, it was really Monsanto and the FDA that forced wholesome milk producers to remove the “no rBGH” claim from their labels.
My prediction: Monsanto and the FDA are going to wage a massive regulatory assault on Whole Foods and try to find some way to force Whole Foods to back off this promise to label GMOs. We, the grassroots activists who helped make this happen, would be wise to help defend Whole Foods in this decision. At some point, we may have to organize letter-writing campaigns, call-in campaigns, etc., to the FDA and even U.S. Senators to oppose FDA regulations that attempt to censor and silence GMO labeling. That will probably happen in 2014 – 2015.
In the mean time, product suppliers who sell to Whole Foods are going to have to start making a big decision themselves: Do we create a separate line of products just for Whole Foods, or do we label all our products no matter where they are sold?
Some food companies will decide to pull out of Whole Foods in protest. These will likely be the “no on 37” brands that are total GMO sellouts like Kashi, Silk, Larabar and others. There will be tremendous economic pressure put on Whole Foods over this, believe me.
But the more responsible brands — like Nature’s Path cereals and Amy’s Kitchen — will welcome the labeling and they will quickly comply. (In Nature’s Path’s case, by the way, they are already 100% non-GMO, so they are already compliant. Amy’s also avoids GMOs.)
This will mean that some shelf space may open up at Whole Foods stores because those GMO deceivers will pull out. But this is actually a fantastic opportunity for non-GMO brands to come in and fill the space. This will actually improve Whole Foods’ overall product selection and make it an even more inviting place to shop. (Heck, I might even start shopping there again.)
Those companies that choose to comply with the labeling will obviously start telling their own raw materials suppliers that they don’t want to buy any more GMOs. And those raw materials suppliers, in turn, will tell their farmers to stop growing GMOs because the market demand is collapsing.
Simple economics means more farmers will stop growing GMOs
The upshot of this is that farmers who grow GMOs will be punished with plummeting demand while farmers who grow certified non-GMO crops will be rewarded with increased demand and increased prices. (Isn’t the free market wonderful?)
The end result is victory for everyone: Whole Foods gets its reputation back, consumers get honest labeling, farmers get away from toxic GMOs and superweeds, the environment benefits from less genetic pollution and toxic Monsanto pesticides being sprayed, and the health of those who shop at Whole Foods is vastly improved by not eating hidden GMOs!
Who are the losers in all this? Monsanto and the biotech industry. You might argue they are already losers, ethically speaking, but I’m talking about economics: They are about to get hammered right where it counts: in the pocketbook.
In essence then, this ballsy decision by Whole Foods is one giant kick in the crotch for Monsanto, which is precisely what that corporate monstrosity rudely deserves.
I would personally like to join in this crotch-kicking contest by getting behind Whole Foods in this decision and helping support its efforts to follow through with its GMO labeling promise.
So, for the record, Natural News is fully supportive of Whole Foods on this issue, and we intend to rally grassroots support to help Whole Foods defend this decision when the time comes.
And ultimately, if this goes into place over the next five years, I plan to be among those who help publicize the good news and encourage everybody to shop at Whole Foods. Five years isn’t as far off as you think, and I’m a pretty young guy, so I’ll still be here covering all this.
Bottom line? Wind up your kicking legs, everybody. We’re all about to join in a massive grassroots ballet of Monsanto crotch-kicking lasting five years. Think of it as inverted river dancing.