Whole Foods postpones GMO labeling requirement
Published: June 6, 2018
Category: The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
In response to concerns from suppliers about complying with Whole Foods Market’s GMO labeling policy in time for the company’s September 1, 2018 deadline, the natural food retailer announced in mid-May that it will delay its planned GMO Labeling Policy rollout.
The email was signed by president A.C. Gallo, and global VPs Don Clark and Karen Christensen.
Whole Foods’ original requirement was that suppliers “label products that contain genetically modified (GMO) risk ingredients and were not third-party verified as non-GMO or organic.” Suppliers were struggling to meet requirements for Whole Foods as well as USDA, via the Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard—thus the “pause.”
“While the proposed [USDA] rule speaks to requirements for disclosing a bioengineered food, it is silent on requirements for making an on-label non-GMO claim,” the note stated. “Given the uncertain details of the federal regulation, we do not expect the verification of non-GMO claims on existing branded products by the previously communicated …deadline.”
Whole Foods will still require suppliers in all categories to acquire third-party verification by a Whole Foods-approved program for “non-GMO” package labeling. Those vendors include NSF Non-GMO True North or the USDA Organic program. The requirement will be rolled out “once there is a better understanding of the final federal regulation.”
GMO Free USA noted that Whole Foods’ parent company, Amazon, is now selling unlabeled GMO apple snacks made from Arctic Apples—and wondered if the integrity of Whole Foods could be compromised by its parent.
Source: Project NOSH
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