Wegmans Denies Consumers the Right to Know

By: Just Label It
Posted on April 17, 2014

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By: Scott Faber

Wegmans supermarkets have worked hard to earn the loyalty of consumers worried about the sustainability of their food, offering thousands of organic choices in their stores and making an early commitment to sustainable seafood.

So it’s surprising to learn that Wegmans is supporting a voluntary approach to labeling genetically engineered foods.

Although food companies have been free since 2001 to voluntarily disclose the presence of GE ingredients, not one has told its customers whether the food they’re buying contains GMOs. And fewer than 20,000 products carry a non-GMO label – out of roughly two million in the marketplace.

It’s not clear from its announcement whether Wegmans’ voluntary approach applies to its own store brands.

By contrast, Whole Foods has made a commitment to giving its customers full GE transparency by 2018.

Some people love Wegmans for serving lots of fresh food. But when it comes to GE labeling, Wegmans is serving big food’s leftovers. Want more answers about GMOs? Wegmans suggests you ask Monsanto and Dow – the very people who create genetically engineered foods.

Even more troubling than Wegmans’ failure to give its customers the right to know what’s in their food is its suggestion that genetically engineered ingredients are better for the environment than conventional crops.

The truth is that the widespread adoption of GE crops has increased the use of herbicides over the past few decades. What’s more, overuse of one weed killer designed to work with genetically engineered crops has bred “superweeds” that require the use of an even more powerful weed killer called 2, 4-D.

Because GE crops are specifically designed to withstand weed killers like glyphosate and 2, 4-D, those toxic herbicides been used far more than Monsanto and Dow predicted when GE crops reached the market 20 years ago. Recent proposals to quadruple the amount of 2, 4-D used on GE crops pose serious new health risks.

So much for Wegmans’ commitment to sustainability.

Rather than serving up Big Food’s bologna, Wegmans should serve its customers by joining other food manufacturers and retailers who support giving consumers the same right as those in 64 other countries. After all, 93 percent of people say they want the right to know what’s in their food.

  • NetTroll

    I only feel sorry for the communities that have no other options to shop at other diverse grocery stores or have local farmer’s markets, because all they have are Walmarts. Sad honestly. This labeling topic has been a fighting issue for a long while, making SOME head way. Honestly, if a company isn’t going to freely label their products/ingredients as non-GMO, I’m not buying it. Period. Go by a reputable non-profit organization that actually checks these companies that have a strict guideline that’s up to our standards and give those companies your money. That, and I also carry buy-cott with me whenever I go shopping.

    • LilMsInformed

      there are food deserts in every big city – where convenience stores are the only place people can buy food. Rarely fresh fruits, vegetables; often processed foods and frozen foods. Once informed people start understanding how pervasive corn, in particular, is in almost ALL processed food, and how high the percentage is, hopefully they will vote and show protest with their dollars. All that yummy breading? Look at the label. It’s likely high fructose corn syrup, modified corn starch, or some other name, hiding CORN. From you guessed it, GE corn. Wheat, too. It’s in everything. And Soybeans. Drive through the mid-section of the country. You’ll see sister standing next to sister – all the plants have ears of corn standing right next to each other. One blight is all it will take out all of the corn, wheat, and soybeans that have been so carefully engineered, will be gone. There is no natural selection. There isn’t a diverse population. Whether you are terrified about eating weed poison, anti-fungals, or other poison – GMO is not a good answer. It solves a problem short-term and creates TOO MANY – most of which we don’t even know yet! Write to your local representatives – no matter where you live. DEMAND GMO labeling. One voice can be passed off as a quack – a weirdo – a tree-hugging hippy. But millions of voices? Together? Writing our state, local, and national representatives? No. We will be heard. And as tightly bound to Monsanto and ADM as our government is, our government will be forced to listen if everyone who cares enough to read this – passes it on – and urges their friends to do the same. Write letters. Get involved. Sign Petitions! Make Phone Calls. Show up at town hall meetings. [I have, and I just did again!]

  • Bruce Brown

    If Wegmans has abandoned its customers, I suggest its customers return the favor.

  • Terri Reed

    Really Wegmans!? Get OVER yourself! I am so tired of your cooperate mainstream B S! Another example of too big too fast and too out of touch because of it all!#$%^&*!

  • catwoman 51

    It’s all about the money not about our right to know what is in our food. Boycott Wegmans.

  • brooke

    Yes, Whole Foods made the commitment after being outed for selling GMO foods for 10 years, all while claiming that they didn’t sell GMO foods. If you’ve noticed, almost all of the foods they sell at their salad and warm bars have soybean or canola oil in them. Both of these are the most commonly genetically modified foods out there.

    • PoodleSheep

      Whole foods is a reactionary company, not a revolutionary one. They only change when forced to. I avoid Whole Foods like the plague. Fortunately I have a completely organic market I can go to. It isn’t like Whole Foods where you have to double check and make sure the tomatoes they’re selling are organic today. I’m not kidding when I say there have been times in the past when I went in whole foods and saw the majority of the produce labeled as conventional and not organic. As was demonstrated by the latest “outing” of whole foods information, those conventional items were likely fertilized by sewage.

  • jasonmchicago

    They could have taken a more consumer-friendly route and said they can’t label gmo yet but “they are encouraging their vendors to get non-gmo verified or go organic.” At least then they’d be trying. To just say, “so sorry consumer you lose!” is not good customer service. Wegman’s made the wrong move.

  • vicky

    You do know that is it the responsibilty of the companies that MAKE the products to label. Wegmans can’t force companies to label their foods. You want to know whats in the Cheerios, then contact General Mills, they make the cereal. Wegmans sells it. Wegmans does label the products THEY make, like Wegmans brand cereal, bread, peanut butter in addition to all the organic products they make and sell.

    • Mike B

      This is absolutely true. I work for a large packaging manufacturer processing customer supplied artwork and I can attest that this is common practice. The regulatory process that is currently in place is prohibitive for customer like Wegman’s to keep up on labeling, not to mention running into huge liabilities when their suppliers make mistakes. I am in favor of labeling, but I see the other side of the whole process.

  • Zula Marie

    Wegman’s used to be my fave grocery chain. Plenty of organics, stunning marketing and tremendous customer service. However, over the last 2-3 years, I have almost discontinued buying the fruit and veggies in the produce dept. They rot quickly, have little flavor and frankly, Walmart now has higher quality produce for the most part and is much cheaper. I also have come to dislike any of the pre-made meal selections. Most of them are truly awful. I have returned several items due to annoyance at this practice. Step-up Wegman’s – you have the money. I live in Rochester and the family is legend here. Costco is coming soon. I will probably try there.

    • Mike B

      Too bad Walmart is ruining the country in other ways…

    • Cherish

      I buy from Wegmans regularly and always find it has much better produce than any other grocery stores around. Sometime certain chains struggle more than other but all the Wegmans around me are definitely not like this!

  • billy

    You are absolutely wrong. Wegmans customers have a choice. they can stop shopping there, shop at another store who does require labeling (say whole foods). for those of you who are economically challenged, this is called competition in the marketplace, free market economics.. this is how products, goods, and services improve and become cheaper over time. just like i phone vs android, sony vs. samsung, chevy vs honda. If they lose business to another grocer due to this then they will be forced to listen and then the consumer will have yet another choice. Government shouldn’t force its way in between voluntary contracts between consumer and providers of goods and services unless force or fraud has been committed. A customer voluntarily chooses to shop at that grocer and that grocer provides goods and services that consumers are not required to buy. I agree that i would LOVE to have all foods labeled for GMO’s. I vehemently disagree that this should be done by government decree (force).

  • camila

    No more GE food! its detrimental to our health and the health of the planet!!!!! DONT WANT IT DONT NEED IT! THANK YOU!!!

  • Vonnie Aldrete

    This is very disappointing. I love Wegmans! Darn.