AUSTIN, Texas – With genetically modified ingredients now deeply embedded in the U.S. food supply, it’s a decision that many in the industry are calling a game changer.
Whole Foods Market plans to require labeling of all GMO foods sold in its stores by 2018, becoming the first major retailer in the nation to do so. 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 farmer’s 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,” Schweizer said. “The more information we can give our customers, the better it is for us and them, as well as for our producers.”
The Food and Drug Administration has deemed GMO products safe. Some are concerned that the labeling could mislead consumers about the potential risk, but Schweizer said the company is simply offering transparency. “We’re not making a value judgment, and we’re not interpreting the science one way or the other,” he explained. “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 that are verified non-GMO.
Schweizer will be among business leaders from around the country coming together later this month for the spring conference of the Social Venture Network. Schweizer said his message there starts with cooperation. “Mission-oriented businesses of various scales, big and small, can work together to further the values and mission of what they’re doing. So, it’s really about partnering for the greater good and running a business in the meantime.”
The Social Venture Network conference is set for April 25-28 in San Diego. More info on conference is available at http://svn.org/attend-an-event/2013-spring-conference. This story was created by Soundbite Services.