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Grocery Chain Requires Labeling of GMO Foods

Photo: Whole Foods in Winter Park, Fla. Courtesy: Whole Foods website
Photo: Whole Foods in Winter Park, Fla. Courtesy: Whole Foods website
April 8, 2013

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida consumers will soon know whether their foods are genetically modified, at least at one grocery store chain, which is weighing in on the issue with its wallet. Whole Foods will be the first major retailer in the country to require the labeling of GMO foods in its stores over the next five years.

The decision was led by customer demand, according to Whole Foods' executive global grocery coordinator, Errol Schweizer.

"The rise of fair trade, the growth of organic, of farmers' markets, all point to the fact that our customers want to know where their food is coming from, what it's made from, who is making it," he declared.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has deemed GMO products safe, and some are concerned that labeling products as GMO-free could mislead consumers as to a supposed potential risk of foods including GMO. However, Schweizer said, they are simply offering transparency.

"We're not making a value judgment and we're not interpreting the science one way or the other," he averred. "We're just saying the customer has the right to make an informed choice on what they are feeding themselves or their family."

Whole Foods already sells more than 3,300 products which are verified non-GMO. Many countries in Europe already ban or require labeling of genetically-modified foods.

There are 19 Whole Foods stores in Florida.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - FL