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Archive for September, 2012

“Whole Foods Market supports California’s Proposition 37 requiring mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods by July 1, 2014 because it has long believed its customers have the right to know how their food is produced.”

This honestly shouldn’t be news. The fact that a health food store like Whole Foods wouldn’t support mandatory labeling of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) is preposterous. Or is it?

Whole Foods Market announced this week that they are in support of Prop 37. They even created this nifty green image to show their Prop 37 love. My question is, what took em so long?? With election day only weeks away, Whole Foods should have been on this wagon months ago.

Turns out that while they do support Prop 37, they have a few reservations. Specifically, they think the upper limit for processed foods containing GMO ingredients should be 0.9% instead of the 0.5% in the proposition. Their reason? To keep it in line with “the long-established international labeling standard.” Secondly, Whole Foods was hoping for California Attorney General Office’s oversight. They explain their fear in the press release:

“…manufacturers could be compelled to label products with ‘May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering’ even if it is not the case to avoid costly litigation and protect themselves. This could result in consumers receiving inaccurate information, which is contrary to the intent of the proposition itself.”

The CA Right to Know camp has responded to the costly litigation claims, in general, by saying,  “There is no reason to believe companies will violate the law as most companies honestly label their food for calories, fat content, allergy risks and other information consumers want to know, whether or not that information is favorable to product sales. One can expect that companies will comply with the law and there will be little if any need for lawsuits.”

Regardless of their few reservations, I am quite frankly relieved that Whole Foods has supported Prop 37. This is an issue close to my heart and one that I expect certain companies to embrace.

Be Food Smart is a proud supporter and partner of California Right to Know and Yes on Prop 37. To learn more about Prop 37, visit: CA Right to Know.

Image Source: Whole Foods Market

 

 

 

The California Right to Know campaign sent its partners this ad from the No on 37 camp today. If you are just tuning in, Proposition 37 is an initiative in California which would require genetically modified foods (GMOs) to be labeled. For obvious reasons, the giant food and beverage companies and GMO seed producing companies like Monsanto, oppose this Prop and are spending millions trying to defeat it. With all that money, it’s downright funny that this ad was the best they could come up with. In all honesty, would this ad ever sway you to think labeling GMOs was a bad thing? What is the deal with the huge steak and unrecognizable can of dog food? This ad is so confusing I barely understood what they were trying to get at. If this is the best they got, things are looking good for mandatory labeling in California.

To see the full article and witty response from the Right to Know folks, click here.

Photo via the CA Right to Know blog

When I woke up yesterday and saw the headline, “Organic produce is no healthier or nutritious, finds study,” I was very curious. What exactly did this study look at and how did they come up with their conclusion? Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was interested. Our twitter page blew up with comments and articles on what the study missed. Mark Bittman showed a wee bit of frustration in his tweet:

Ridiculous Study Claims Organic Same as Conventional, irritates anyone capable of thought: http://buff.ly/NaNeKI

The Standford Study, as it is being referred, is a “meta-analysis” of a few hundred previously published research papers on the topic. The researchers reviewed the studies and and summarized the results in the journal, The Annals of Internal Medicine.

The Purpose: To review evidence comparing the health effects of organic and conventional foods.

The Conclusion: The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

While this sounds compelling, there was a whole lot left out. For example, two glasses of milk might be identical when it comes to the amount of vitamin D or calcium, but vastly difference when you start comparing added hormone or antibiotic levels. Also, nutrition is not the only reason why people choose organic. In the last day, I’ve read numerous articles about the Standford Study. To further understand what the study actually did and did not include, I urge you to read these three compelling articles.

5 Ways the Stanford Study Sells Organics Short
by Tom Philpott of Mother Jones

As an investigative journalist, Tom takes a deep dive on the study and points out the multitude of risks that pesticides both
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