Whole Foods GMO announcement

Whole Foods to require GMO labeling

Whole Foods Market, the grocery chain that has stores in the Twin Cities area, said Friday that it is giving its food suppliers five years to eliminate genetically modified ingredients or clearly label products with such ingredients.

The store chain said the move equates to “full GMO transparency” by 2018. GMO stands for genetically modified organism.

According to a New York Times report, the company is the first U.S. retailer to require the labeling, and executives received a standing ovation when they made the announcement at a trade conference being held in California this week.

A video of Co-CEO Walter Robb making the announcement was also on the Whole Foods Market website Friday afternoon.

The New York Times said labels now used on Whole Foods products disclose when a product has been verified as free of genetically engineered ingredients by the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit certification organization.

The labeling of food containing genetically engineered or genetically modified ingredients has become an issue in a number of states, and especially last fall in California, where Proposition 37 – which would have made such labeling mandatory by state law – was defeated by voters after a bitter debate.

Just last month, bills were introduced in the Minnesota Legislature that would require food manufacturers to label their products to indicate whether they contained genetically engineered ingredients.

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