Friday, August 29th, 2014

USDA Forces Whole Foods To Accept Monsanto

From the Trenches World Report
www.FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com
May 24th, 2013
Reader Views: 23,054

In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.

In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week,Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and “seed purity,” gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the “conditional deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa. Beyond the regulatory euphemism of “conditional deregulation,” this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.

“compensation.” In exchange for a new assault on farmworkers and rural communities (a recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers’ and rural residents’ risk of getting cancer), WFM expects the pro-biotech USDA to begin to regulate rather than cheerlead for Monsanto. In payment for a new broad spectrum attack on the soil’s crucial ability to provide nutrition for food crops and to sequester dangerous greenhouse gases (recent studies show that Roundup devastates essential soil microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases), WFM wants the Biotech Bully of St. Louis to agree to pay “compensation” (i.e. hush money) to farmers “for any losses related to the contamination of his crop.”

In its email of Jan. 21, 2011 WFM calls for “public oversight by the USDA rather than reliance on the biotechnology industry,” even though WFM knows full well that federal regulations on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) do not require pre-market safety testing, nor labeling; and that even federal judges have repeatedly ruled that so-called government “oversight” of Frankencrops such as Monsanto’s sugar beets and alfalfa is basically a farce. At the end of its email, WFM admits that its surrender to Monsanto is permanent: “The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well True coexistence is a must.”

Why Is Organic Inc. Surrendering?

According to informed sources, the CEOs of WFM and Stonyfield are personal friends of former Iowa governor, now USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, and in fact made financial contributions to Vilsack’s previous electoral campaigns. Vilsack was hailed as “Governor of the Year” in 2001 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and traveled in a Monsanto corporate jet on the campaign trail. Perhaps even more fundamental to Organic Inc.’s abject surrender is the fact that the organic elite has become more and more isolated from the concerns and passions of organic consumers and locavores.

The Organic Inc. CEOs are tired of activist pressure, boycotts, and petitions. Several of them have told me this to my face. They apparently believe that the battle against GMOs has been lost, and that it’s time to reach for the consolation prize. The consolation prize they seek is a so-called “coexistence” between the biotech Behemoth and the organic community that will lull the public to sleep and greenwash the unpleasant fact that Monsanto’s unlabeled and unregulated genetically engineered crops are now spreading their toxic genes on 1/3 of U.S. (and 1/10 of global) crop land.

WFM and most of the largest organic companies have deliberately separated themselves from anti-GMO efforts and cut off all funding to campaigns working to label or ban GMOs. The so-called Non-GMO Project, funded by Whole Foods and giant wholesaler United Natural Foods (UNFI) is basically a greenwashing effort (although the 100% organic companies involved in this project seem to be operating in good faith) to show that certified organic foods are basically free from GMOs (we already know this since GMOs are banned in organic production), while failing to focus on so-called “natural” foods, which constitute most of WFM and UNFI’s sales and are routinely contaminated with GMOs.

From their “business as usual” perspective, successful lawsuits against GMOs filed by public interest groups such as the Center for Food Safety; or noisy attacks on Monsanto by groups like the Organic Consumers Association, create bad publicity, rattle their big customers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Costco, Supervalu, Publix and Safeway; and remind consumers that organic crops and foods such as corn, soybeans, and canola are slowly but surely becoming contaminated by Monsanto’s GMOs.

Whole Foods’ Dirty Little Secret: Most of the So-Called “Natural” Processed Foods and Animal Products They Sell Are Contaminated with GMOs

The main reason, however, why Whole Foods is pleading for coexistence with Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, BASF and the rest of the biotech bullies, is that they desperately want the controversy surrounding genetically engineered foods and crops to go away. Why? Because they know, just as we do, that 2/3 of WFM’s $9 billion annual sales is derived from so-called “natural” processed foods and animal products that are contaminated with GMOs. We and our allies have tested their so-called “natural” products (no doubt WFM’s lab has too) containing non-organic corn and soy, and guess what: they’re all contaminated with GMOs, in contrast to their certifiedorganic products, which are basically free of GMOs, or else contain barely detectable trace amounts.

Approximately 2/3 of the products sold by Whole Foods Market and their main distributor, United Natural Foods (UNFI) are not certified organic, but rather are conventional (chemical-intensive and GMO-tainted) foods and products disguised as “natural.”

Unprecedented wholesale and retail control of the organic marketplace by UNFI andWhole Foods, employing a business model of selling twice as much so-called “natural”food as certified organic food, coupled with the takeover of many organic companies by multinational food corporations such as Dean Foods, threatens the growth of the organic movement.

Covering Up GMO Contamination: Perpetrating “Natural” Fraud

Many well-meaning consumers are confused about the difference between conventional products marketed as “natural,” and those nutritionally/ environmentally superior and climate-friendly products that are “certified organic.”

Retail stores like WFM and wholesale distributors like UNFI have failed to educate their customers about the qualitative difference between natural and certified organic, conveniently glossing over the fact that nearly all of the processed “natural” foods and products they sell contain GMOs, or else come from a “natural” supply chain where animals are force-fed GMO grains in factory farms or Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).

A troubling trend in organics today is the calculated shift on the part of certain large formerly organic brands from certified organic ingredients and products to so-called “natural” ingredients. With the exception of the “grass-fed and grass-finished” meat sector, most “natural” meat, dairy, and eggs are coming from animals reared on GMO grains and drugs, and confined, entirely, or for a good portion of their lives, in CAFOs.

Whole Foods and UNFI are maximizing their profits by selling quasi-natural products at premium organic prices. Organic consumers are increasingly left without certified organic choices while genuine organic farmers and ranchers continue to lose market share to “natural” imposters. It’s no wonder that less than 1% of American farmland is certified organic, while well-intentioned but misled consumers have boosted organic and “natural” purchases to $80 billion annually-approximately 12% of all grocery store sales.

The Solution: Truth-in-Labeling Will Enable Consumers to Drive So-Called “Natural” GMO and CAFO-Tainted Foods Off the Market

There can be no such thing as “coexistence” with a reckless industry that undermines public health, destroys biodiversity, damages the environment, tortures and poisons animals, destabilizes the climate, and economically devastates the world’s 1.5 billion seed-saving small farmers.

There is no such thing as coexistence between GMOs and organics in the European Union. Why? Because in the EU there are almost no GMO crops under cultivation, nor GM consumer food products on supermarket shelves. And why is this? Because under EU law, all foods containing GMOs or GMO ingredients must be labeled. Consumers have the freedom to choose or not to choose GMOs; while farmers, food processors, and retailers have (at least legally) the right to lace foods with GMOs, as long as they are safety-tested and labeled.

Of course the EU food industry understands that consumers, for the most part, do not want to purchase or consume GE foods. European farmers and food companies, even junk food purveyors like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, understand quite well the concept expressed by a Monsanto executive when GMOs first came on the market: “If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”

The biotech industry and Organic Inc. are supremely conscious of the fact that North American consumers, like their European counterparts, are wary and suspicious of GMO foods. Even without a PhD, consumers understand you don’t want your food safety or environmental sustainability decisions to be made by out-of-control chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, or Dupont – the same people who brought you toxic pesticides, Agent Orange, PCBs, and now global warming.

Industry leaders are acutely aware of the fact that every single industry or government poll over the last 16 years has shown that 85-95% of American consumers want mandatory labels on GMO foods. Why? So that we can avoid buying them. GMO foods have absolutely no benefits for consumers or the environment, only hazards. This is why Monsanto and their friends in the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations have prevented consumer GMO truth-in-labeling laws from getting a public discussion in Congress.

Although Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat, Ohio) recently introduced a bill in Congress calling for mandatory labeling and safety testing for GMOs, don’t hold your breath for Congress to take a stand for truth-in-labeling and consumers’ right to know what’s in their food. Especially since the 2010 Supreme Court decision in the so-called Citizens United case gave big corporations and billionaires the right to spend unlimited amounts of money (and remain anonymous, as they do so) to buy media coverage and elections, our chances of passing federal GMO labeling laws against the wishes of Monsanto and Food Inc. are all but non-existent.

Perfectly dramatizing the “Revolving Door” between Monsanto and the Federal Government, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, formerly chief counsel for Monsanto, delivered one of the decisive votes in the Citizens United case, in effect giving Monsanto and other biotech bullies the right to buy the votes it needs in the U.S. Congress.

With big money controlling Congress and the media, we have little choice but to shift our focus and go local. We’ve got to concentrate our forces where our leverage and power lie, in the marketplace, at the retail level; pressuring retail food stores to voluntarily label their products; while on the legislative front we must organize a broad coalition to pass mandatory GMO (and CAFO) labeling laws, at the city, county, and state levels.

The Organic Consumers Association, joined by our consumer, farmer, environmental, and labor allies, has just launched a nationwide Truth-in-Labeling campaign to stop Monsanto and the Biotech Bullies from force-feeding unlabeled GMOs to animals and humans.

Utilizing scientific data, legal precedent, and consumer power the OCA and our local coalitions will educate and mobilize at the grassroots level to pressure giant supermarket chains (Wal-Mart, Kroger, Costco, Safeway, Supervalu, and Publix) and natural food retailers such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to voluntarily implement “truth-in-labeling” practices for GMOs and CAFO products; while simultaneously organizing a critical mass to pass mandatory local and state truth-in-labeling ordinances – similar to labeling laws already in effect for country of origin, irradiated food, allergens, and carcinogens.

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


Contributed by From the Trenches World Report of www.FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com.

From the Trenches World Report is intent on uncovering more documented facts to bring to light that which the common man or woman is not meant to see. We are in a war for nothing less than our right to individual thought. We will be reporting on that war From the Trenches.

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  • big reb

    sell outs.

  • AllaHaRa

    Time to Boycott Whole Foods. Time to grow your own food!!

  • Row Weil

    Whenever you see *explosive* growth of a business, you can bet that they’re cutting corners. Over the past 6 years, I’ve seen prices rise, and questionable ‘Big-Box-Disguised-As-Organic’ products slip in to the shelves of Whole Foods. They definitely aren’t a ‘Food Co-op’ anymore!

    The solutions:
    1. Spread information: most people don’t know the health risks of GMO/processed food until they’re actually sick… Even when people are pursuing truth, there is Social pressure, Allopathic doctor pressure, and significant misinformation that hampers such investigations. We can help people cut through this by collecting and giving them the same information we see.

    2. Ignore Federal Regulations: Federal assistance (money, legislation, contracts) going to Big Food and regulations interfering with Local Food need to be abolished. I’ll say the same thing here as I’ve said with other situations: *Build a consensus in your community to ignore the illegal Federal Laws*. Then, help your neighbors resist Federal Intervention when it comes. This is another reason we need to stop paying Federal Taxes ASAP – our money is being confiscated and redistributed to the GMO devils!

    3. Change your eating/buying habits. Buy/eat as much food from reputable, local sources as possible. Local meat, local veggies, local milk. The fewer ‘processed’ ingredients in a food, the less chance that you are consuming non-local ingredients.

    This battle wold be so easy if people just *cared*.

  • Lone Dissenter

    I agree! Buy local, start growing your own and most of all, BOYCOTT WHOLE FOODS! If you are going to get GMO`s anyway, might as well shop at Walmart or Safeway and spend less money. I weep for our children`s future!

  • C

    GMO=WMD
    genetically modified foods are known to cause cancer, organ damage, genetic modification in the consumer and after 3 generations of consumption, sterility. That is the science that is not discussed by our FDA.

  • kris

    This cannot be a current article; Dennis Kucinich was gerrymandered out of office a year ago.

  • daniel james

    old article is old

    this article is over 2 years old. why did you copy it word for word?

  • Paul

    There is a great app out there to help with purchase decisions. Check out buycott.

  • Human

    When govt. gets involved in business it can pick winners and loser as it can print as much money as it will take to have it’s will and it follows if your dumping boatloads of cash in a polticians pocket …well you get the idea.

    The idea of not letting the consumer choose the winners and losers means – we lose.
    However we still have the power of the purse – don’t buy GE products, although the low-info voters will probably make any effort by those informed a moot point – bottom line – it sucks

  • Kathy Chapman

    Come on people. You really can’t believe everything you read. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/gmomonsanto-buyout-rumors-untrue

  • Tim Dufault

    I’m missing something . Where in the article does it say Whole Foods must carry genetically modified crops? It says WF is in favor of USDA deregulating GE Alfalfa. Whole Foods will not be forced to carry it. If WF is an organic store this doesn’t affect them. They’re products have not been sprayed with pesticides. If I’m an organic farmer why would I send more money on GE seed when I’m not going to use the expense trait by spraying it with Round Up? By the way the article is incorrect on a few points. GE crops are not more energy intensive. I am a farmer of both GE seed and conventional seed. With GE seed I spray less product and make few trips over the field. I also till the ground less to control weeds so I save soil moisture and there is less soil erosion. I burn less fuel. Less CO2 in the atmosphere .

    • Natasha Jacques

      There is very little truth to this article. It is slanderous and terribly misleading.
      http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/gmomonsanto-buyout-rumors-untrue

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/08/whole-foods-gmo-labeling-2018_n_2837754.html

      If you don’t want to become sheep, do you research and check facts before you share online tabloid stories meant to be sensationalist. Anyone can make a website and post anything they want. Honestly people, the following website is more credible than this one.

      http://www.nationalenquirer.com

      • OMGwhataDUMBASS

        You call this article “… slanderous and terribly misleading.” and then go on to link and quote the huff-post and national enquirer.

        I love when people like you call something BS then proceed to spead just as much BS.

        Oh wait you get paid for these comments… proceed now that we know the motive.

      • OMGwhataDUMBASS

        You call this article “… slanderous and terribly misleading.” and then go on to link and quote the huff-post and national enquirer.

        I love when people like you call something BS then proceed to spead just as much BS.

        Oh wait you get paid for these comments… proceed now that we know the motive.

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