A controversial video of an undercover investigation into the presence of GMO foods at the “organic” grocery leader Whole Foods Market has been pulled from You Tube just days after its release sparked a reaction throughout the health conscious blogosphere and alternative media.
A ‘sting’ video released by Organic Spies featuring covert footage alleges that Whole Foods was deceiving its customers by touting organic foods and a corporate ideal set against GMOs while simultaneously selling a large portion of products that contain widely prevalent GMO ingredients. On-camera statements of numerous Whole Foods employees in the Los Angeles area underscore the fact that its employees are ignorant of the presence of GMO foods on store shelves, leaving the average customer even more so in the dark.
Now that original video– linked here– which was posted 6 days ago and which had well over 100,000 views, was removed from You Tube, due to alleged violations of its Terms of Service. Typically, this indicates a 3rd party complaint, though You Tube no longer automatically informs users of the identities of parties who make claims against videos, so the role of Whole Foods here is not clear.
However, Whole Foods officially responded to the video in their blog, admitting that some products in their store indeed contain GMO ingredients. It promises, therefore, to better inform their employees of this fact:
“The YouTube video showing our store Team Members giving conflicting responses to a question about GMOs reminds us that while we try to keep all our 70,000 Team Members up-to-speed on the latest information, clearly we need to do more. Some products in our stores DO contain GMOs – just like any other food store in the country, due to the pervasiveness of GMOs…”
Whole Foods also emphasized their support for California’s Prop 37, which would mandate the labeling of GMOs, after coming under criticism for not donating financially to the ballot measure to counter the heavy lobbying against the measure by the biotech industry and their allies.
Whole Foods states that their officially policy does not allow financial backing for such political measures, yet its top executives have donated to numerous telling campaigns. So what gives?
Co-founder and CEO John Mackey donated to Mitt Romney, who helped promote Monsanto’s entry into biotechnology, while co-CEO Walter Robb donated to Barack Obama, who has appointed numerous Monsanto lobbyists to his administration, as well as Christie Vilsack, the wife of USDA chief Tom Vilsack, who as an Iowan politician, has bent over backward for biotech, GMOs, cloning and even the open-air growing of pharmaceutical crops. As head of agriculture, Vilsack served as a go between to negotiate acceptance of GM alfalfa (a major food crop for livestock), meeting with Monsanto and top emissaries of the organic market, namely Whole Foods Market, Stonyfield Farm and Organic Valley. The perceived caving of these organic players has drawn serious criticism throughout the Internet.
Evidence that major advocates for organic foods are ultimately serving the interests of genetic engineering is sad, particularly at a time when Monsanto and other biotech giants threaten to saturate the world market with dangerous GMO foods that remain unlabeled and yet have been found to contribute to cancerous tumors and other devastating health effects in lab rats fed Monsanto’s GM corn.
Here is a mirror of the pulled video, still up at the time of publishing: