Wegmans Gets GE Labeling Wrong. Again.

By: Just Label It
Posted on April 19, 2014

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This week, Wegmans announced the supermarket opposed mandatory GE labeling and instead supports a voluntary approach.

Thousands of loyal Wegmans shoppers pledged to take their business elsewhere.

Wegmans’ response? To call them anti-scientific luddites who don’t do their homework.

Apparently, in Wegmans’ world, the customer is always wrong.

Here’s their response:

“I have been reading all the comments. Clearly, and no surprise, GMOs are a polarizing topic. It’s why we invested so much time and energy arriving at a point of view, after studying and talking with experts on all sides of the issue. Now, in the interest of transparency, we have shared our conclusions with you. Here are some things I’d like to say and points I want to clarify: First, in arriving at our position, we put our trust in science. We get it; I get it…trust in government regulators varies widely, and the same is true for major companies who developed the technology and now benefit greatly from genetic engineering. We are not here to defend or debate these points. But, we cannot ignore the large body of science that says GMOs are safe. With that said, we believe it’s time for FDA to mandate approval of new foods produced by GMO technology before products hit the market. Today, this process is voluntary. We also believe in choice. If a customer wants to avoid GMOs, whatever the reason, they should be able to. Today, the best option is certified organic, because USDA regulations prohibit the use of GMO seeds or any ingredient derived from a GMO, and we offer more than 3,000 certified organic choices in our store. We also offer products verified by the non-GMO project. There needs to be a clear definition of what it means to be non-GMO, one that is recognized nationally. It makes sense to us to label products that are free of GMO ingredients when we think about how most other products are labeled to signal things a customer may want to avoid (think gluten free, vegan, no antibiotics/hormones). That is, make it easy to spot the exceptions. Finally, I have one request. Please, please take the time to read our entire FAQ. Yes, I know it’s lengthy and gets a little heavy at times (you should have seen the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd drafts), but I believe we have addressed many of the questions and concerns expressed in your comments.”

First, Wegmans says GMOs are “a polarizing topic.” Not exactly.

Comments on our Facebook back (and Wegmans’ own blog) are overwhelmingly opposed to Wegmans’ policy.

Second, Wegman says they talked to “experts on all side of the issue.”

But, we never got a call. So much for talking to the experts.

Third, Wegmans says GMOs are safe.

But, GE labeling is not about safety. If food is unsafe, we take it off the shelves. We don’t slap a label on it.

Fourth, Wegmans says they put their trust “in science.”

So does the Just Label it campaign, and the science is crystal clear. As we noted this week, the widespread adoption of GE crops has increased herbicide applications and a new study found “extreme” levels of glyphosate in food.

Fifth, Wegmans says GMOs should be subject to mandatory FDA reviews.

Wegmans admits the current voluntary reviews – which are based on industry science – are not good enough. So, if the current system is broken, as Wegmans concedes, shouldn’t consumer be able to choose to add unregulated GMOs to their diets. Apparently, not.

Sixth, Wegmans says consumers can buy organic. And, there is no question that organic is non-GMO and a whole lot more. But, what about consumers who don’t want to buy organic? Wegmans say they can buy non-GMO certified products – if they can find them.

Finally, Wegmans says “please please” read their FAQs.

We did. And, if many of the answers seemed to be pulled from Monsanto’s web site, it might be because the their FAQs includes a link to a web site funded by Monsanto.

What should consumer do? Here is one solution, from a comment on Wegmans’ web site:

“I’m heading out to do my holiday shopping and I’ll be driving right past Wegman’s. This family’s hard earned money will be supporting companies that support our freedom to be informed consumers.”

 

 

 

  • Lori Skoog

    Same old, same old. Danny, do you like to eat Round Up?
    Again, step up and be the trend setter, don’t fall into the money trap that says anything goes. Monsanto products are not safe and you know it. Money still talks.

  • Helen Alice Osbourne

    Weather GMO’s are safe or not is not the issue. No one asked Wegmans to make that determination. As consumers we are asking for GMO labeling, GMO or GMO FREE, that is all. Allow us as educated consumers to make our own choice. Label it, and let the shoppers decide.

    • Elle R

      Spot on.

  • Linda Cavallaro White

    Wow, I would of expected more out of you Wegmans.. with you farm and all. Let’s try not to focus on the $$ just for a minute. You mentioned you carry “choices” in your store. Why do you think you carry “gluten free” items and from what I see the selections are growing everyday… Let me answer that- because of gmo’s . gmo crops are destroying our gut lining ( second brain) and making us sick and making you a profit. I could travel to Italy and eat bread because it is the way nature has intended. We are cooking a slow death here in the U.S. and someone has to take responsibility. You being a huge presence in the food segment could really take a stand and make conscious, environmentally healthy choices for all of us including your children and grandchildren. Unfortunately you take the $$ road. I am very disappointed since I shop there heavily. I need to rethink where my $$ goes and what it supports. .

  • Candyce Carson Ricco

    I refuse to be dragged into the discussions regarding the safety of GE products. I have my opinion based on extensive reading and I choose to not purchase or consume GE foods. I shop wherever I need to in order to purchase good wholesome food. Catch up to us, Wegmans!

  • DanaButlerAllDay

    While I’m in no favor of GMO’s sometimes there is no way around eating them for whatever reason; some weeks produce at my supermarket is in poor shape and I’m left to get the non organic produce; but whatever, this article seems to be a big cry about Wegman’s not consulting their campaign. You’re not the only organic/NOn-GMO “experts” in the field I’m sure. Wegmans seems to be a very contradictory company. Glad they’re not in Maine. If you want Non GMO products stick to local markets specializing in local food or organic markets that only stock those products. Do not trust a corporate chain.

  • Lila Hw

    I frequently shop at wegmans because they are local and have a large variety of organic and GMO free products. I have 3 children and easilyspend $300+ per week on food. I cant stress enough how incredibly disappointed I am in wegmans. Actually I am disgusted. Hey wegmans… Even Russia is banning GMO!!! Because not enough studies that are independent have been done. I guess it’s time to take my money elsewhere. Sooooo disappointed.

    • Bonnie Wright

      Make sure to let them know why you are changing!

  • Elle R

    @ Just Label It: Excellent, spot on! Oh – and boycott Wegman’s until they “get” it. WE have a right to know what’s in the food we purchase – and until they stop supporting the opposition, we won’t be purchasing it at Wegman’s. Can you spell boycott, Wegman’s?
    Sign me, just another “anti-scientific luddite”.

  • Lisa Kate Morrow

    I suggest rhey all get a little dose of roundup with their flouride to see if it makes the medicine go down!

  • Andres Lee

    While I understand both sides, I believe this is a huge mistake by Weggys. To not be proactive in GMO labeling by such a highly respected and dominant (at least in the NE US) company is confusing. It implies that until they get a phone call to label their products, they’ll sit tight. Two scenarios: 1. they get the call, they label and they apologize. 2. they don’t get the call and permanently lose customers. Either way, it hurts their image going forward. And I really, really like Wegmans.

  • Geni

    I wish there was one near me so I could boycott them. The science is inadequate at best & FDA regulation is totally absent! The book SEEDS OF DECEPTION is an eye opener!

    • enviro23

      Geni, if you have to shop at ten different stores, you will be sending the best message of all. YOU, give power back to the people, YOU, want this country back for all of us, YOU, can do it!!! I have faith in you <3

  • Minuteman

    Goodbye Wegman’s. My family will NEVER shop there again.

  • SKV2

    Wow, this is so disappointing. I guess I’m going to have to boycott Wegmans, and I’ve been an excellent customer for years.

  • Allison Lansberry

    Another reason not to shop at Wegmans Farmed salmon, few organics & lots of unlabeled GMOs. Shop Trader Joe’s for NO GMOS

  • Terry Marino

    Wegmans just lost a customer I always preferred Whole Foods anyway

  • BOKinLarksville

    F-You Wegman’s!! I just cut up my shoppers card and will be mailing it back to them.. I wish Whole Foods would come to Wilkes-Barre Scranton area already..

  • BOKinLarksville

    Would someone please set up a petition to Wegman’s

    • Lila Hw

      Do it…. I’ll sign

  • Dominick Dickerson

    Wait you guys think you’re “experts” on the science of genetic engineering?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    WOW, that’s good for a laugh!

    You people are too much, and you’re going to lose this fight. I can only wait for that day, then the real gloating will begin and it will be glorious.

    • enviro23

      and you are one of those people looking for a job aren’t you. always hostile. it’s a effect of the GMO’S.
      In Medical Terms we call it DiaNUS SYNDROME.
      stages include smarm and mania.

  • Lila Hw

    Woke up today…still angry at wegmans…feel rite….here I come. $300-$400 per week….gotta love our capatalistic oligarchs. Do I sound uneducated to you wegmans??

  • enviro23

    people do not want to spend all day at the grocery store reading labels.
    we do it because You make us.
    when you tell us you will continue to use our time and take our money
    you make no money.

  • Helen Alice Osbourne

    We the customers are wrong? Really, Wegmans? There are 64 Nations that have rejected GMO products. Are they all wrong too? Stop trying to put a positive spin on poison.