There are serious problems with the current labeling of genetically modified products. With no laws demanding the mandatory labeling of products that contain modified organisms, manufacturers have been going incognito with their usage of genetically manipulated ingredients. With inaccurate labeling turning into a nationwide trend, two stores have become favorites among customers who are looking for non-GM products — Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s.
Of course there are other natural food stores that may serve higher quality products, but Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s are two chains that are within a short distance of most health-conscious shoppers in the United States. With that said, it is important to address any issues with these two companies, given their popularity among those trying to improve their health. One such issue is the proper labeling of genetically modified foods. On the About page of the Trader Joe’s website, the company states that “Trader Joe’s Products are Sourced from Non-GMO Ingredients.” This sounds like every product in Trader Joe’s is sourced from non-GMO ingredients. This is not the case.
Clicking on the statement brings the user to a more descriptive answer. All products in Trader Joe’s private label are from non-GMO sources, not every product in the store. The labeling of other products is not ensured. Here is the full description, once again taken from the site’s About page:
Our customers can be assured that all products in Trader Joe’s private label are sourced from non-genetically modified ingredients. Our efforts began in 2001, when we determined that, given a choice, our customers would prefer to eat foods and beverages made without the use of genetically engineered ingredients. Our process has been to identify any product containing ingredients that could potentially be derived from genetically engineered crops and work with our suppliers to replace offending ingredients with acceptable alternatives.
The Whole Foods chain has similar problems. After accepting the USDA’s call for “coexistence” with Monsanto, Whole Foods has now gone on record admitting that some of the products in their stores contain GM ingredients. Which ones? Who knows, they’re not properly labeled. The company even mentions the insane amounts of genetic modification in the food supply, stating: “…The pervasive planting of GMO crops in the U.S. and their subsequent use in our national food supply. 93% of soy, 86% of corn, 93% of cotton, and 93% of canola seed planted in the U.S. in 2010 were genetically engineered.”