May 21, 2012
Since early 2011, there has been a lot of information circulating regarding Monsanto’s purported purchasing of the natural health food store known as Whole Foods; topics like ‘Monsanto buys whole foods‘ and others quickly became hot search terms. Interestingly enough, Monsanto was also rumored to have bought Blackwater (Xe), a private military company. While it is understandable that Monsanto would buy or at least work with Blackwater (as they are both in the same corrupt business), who would believe that Monsanto could scoop up Whole Foods? In actuality, the biotechnology giant did not buy Blackwater , and did not buy Whole Foods. Here are the details.
Monsanto Buys Whole Foods?
It all started in early 2011, when the USDA finally made the decision to deregulate genetically modified alfalfa without restrictions – a decision which caused many individuals, companies, and farmers to become very upset. Before the decision was made, the USDA was considering two options which they would present to the industry: to fully deregulate the alfalfa or to deregulate it with restrictions. Unfortunately, there was no option presented to the industry by the USDA for an outright ban on GM alfalfa, so Whole Foods went with the better option available.
“Whole Foods Market advocated strongly for deregulation with restrictions to preserve the ability of non-GE and organic growers to avoid contamination. It seemed that the USDA was finally recognizing that cross-contamination of GE alfalfa could potentially impact organic and non-GE farmers and consumers, both domestically and for our export markets…Unfortunately, the USDA’s decision fell far short of this mark, and we believe that unrestricted planting of GE alfalfa without setting any clear coexistence framework, with thresholds for contamination and providing for ongoing testing and verification, is irresponsible,” states a post on the Whole Foods website.
“Many people have asked us why we endorsed the coexistence option rather than an outright ban on GE alfalfa. That was never an option in Washington!..the option of an outright ban was not on the table,” the post on the Whole Foods website said. “Whole Foods Market — along with the National Cooperative Grocers Association, the National Organic Coalition, the Organic Trade Association , and other companies and groups — endorsed the path of deregulation with restrictions, or coexistence, not because it was a perfect path, but because it was a path to create meaningful change right now in the regulating of genetically engineered foods and the protection of non-GE foods. “
Since Whole Foods supported the USDA’s approach of coexistence, some consumer groups said the company started supporting GM foods, but along with the ‘Monsanto buys Whole Foods’ rumors, this also wasn’t true. The Organic Consumer Association’s (OCA) released a rather misleading article titled “Whole Foods Caves to Monsanto” in 2011, which was the start of ‘Monsanto buys Whole Foods’ rumors.
“No! What crazy talk! We’ve never had any affiliation with that company. We are publicly traded; our majority shareholders are listed in documents filed with the SEC and, I promise, Monsanto is not on the list and never has been…You see, Whole Foods Market and others in the organic food industry met with the US Secretary of Agriculture in support of farmers’ rights to grow Non-GMO crops. Because we did not take the exact hard-line stance that the OCA did, they accused us of ‘being in bed with Monsanto’” said a Whole Foods employee .
This post first appeared at Natural Society