Whole Foods Market announces voluntary genetic labeling.

Whole Foods Market in a press release announced yesterday that it was mandating labeling of genetically modified products and that it plans to have the policy in effect by 2018.

Whole Foods Co-Chief Executive Walter Robb described customer demand for the labeling as “a steady drumbeat”, and illustrated the right of the consumer to know and the public demand for genetic labeling.

“This is an issue whose time has come,” he said. “With cases like horse meat discovered in the U.K., plastic in milk in China, the recalls of almond and peanut butter in the U.S., customers have a fundamental right to know what’s in their food.”

“The government has not been willing to take on this issue,” Robb said. “So it’s going to have to happen differently.”

The company says it carries 3,300 products from 250 brands that are certified as free of genetically modified organisms.

“We are growing, we need more supply and that’s compelling for manufacturers who want to be part of that,” Robb said of the chain’s new labeling initiative. “If a supplier chooses not to do that, they won’t be in Whole Foods.”



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