By A Former Customer
Food Freedom News

In a Whole Foods store not far from the corporate headquarters, a customer did the unthinkable.  They showed pictures of the rats in the Criigen study to a few other WF customers (all of whom were grateful and asked for the link).  They had brought their computer with the photos into the store to show management how serious GMOs are because despite being asked for a year, management had not removed the GMO canola oil from the items they make in the store.

Here is what the customer showed other customers.

CRIIGEN Study Rats. Explosive results contradict biotech claims of safety.
The customer who did the unthinkable – showing what GMOs do- was met at the check out by phalanx of a group of very tense people who worked there, including at least two managers, who said the customer was not allowed to show pictures or talk to customers in that way.  The justification they used was that a customer had been bothered.


  • When the customer said no one was bothered, but had been very glad to see the photos and wanted the link, the managers did not repeat the line about bothering anyone (something they had clearly invented) but immediately shifting to saying it interfered with their customers’ shopping experience.  [Since the customer didn’t bother anyone and the only thing they did to anyone’s shopping experience was add some truth, is the WF shopping experience meant to be untruthful?]
  • When the customer said people were really glad to know, so was WF saying customers were not allowed to even talk to each other about food, they hesitated an instant and then said, the customer shouldn’t be talking to other customers like that.
  • When the customer said that customers are always talking about various items and even telling each other not to buy something but to buy something else, they just repeated it was not allowed to show the pictures or talk to other customers.
  • When the customer said they thought the store was against GMOs and in favor of organic food, so didn’t it just make people want to buy organic things there more, so why wasn’t it good, they said something like they put out their own marketing and it was not for customers to do it.
  • When the customer said they wouldn’t need to bring their computer into the store and could just make copies of the pictures of the rats, they said the customer was not allowed to show pictures, and again about WF would do its own marketing.
  • When the customer said but it wasn’t telling people how bad GMOs are and hadn’t even come out in favor of the label-GMO campaign in California, they said that WF recently had.
  • When the customer heard that, they asked if WF had come out in support, had they finally given any financial support to the campaign, to which the managers replied it was against WF’s policy to donate in that way.  The customer had no answer to that other than to say that  in the 1990s WF had had postcards at every checkout lane for customers to mail in to stop Bill Clinton’s efforts to get Monsanto’s GMOs, Monsanto’s GMO hormones (rBGH) and the meat packers’ sewage sludge, labeled organic, and people succeeded in stopping it.

Somewhere in this, perhaps because the customer simply couldn’t believe they were serious that they didn’t want customers talking to other customers about food, the managers went and got a policeman who was working in the store, to come over.  He looked abashed and said it’s their store and so the customer has to do what they say.  The customer tried to say “But WF implies they care about organic food and this study supports organic food, so they should be happy people are talking about this study” but the police said, it doesn’t really matter the reason, if they say someone can’t do something, that’s just how it is.

The customer was not sure of their civil rights.  Does one’s first amendment cease to exist if one walks into a grocery store?,  Does it cease to exist even if what is said is not only completely in line with the PR of the store itself but actually promotes sales of some of its products?  Shouldn’t WF have to write out a public list of what customers are allowed to say to each other before it stops them from talking as though the first amendment exists in the store?  Don’t customers have a right to know in advance that they can’t talk freely?

After talking to the policeman, the customer stopped arguing about the fact that they had done nothing wrong and just began talking to the marketing manager.  She said they were doing all they could and just let them know if there were any problems.  The customer said yes, actually, there is a problem and they’d been bringing up for a year and nothing had been done about it.  The problem was that WF uses GMO canola in all their soups and in almost all of their deli and prepared items, and in their chocolates and cookies and breads, all of which are made on site.  The manager said they had no control over that.  The customer said, sure they do.  They could take it out very easily, just by switching to an organic oil.  The manager repeated they have no control over that.

The customer asked why WF would say they are opposed to GMOs yet make food on site with them, and didn’t that make customers who assume WF is opposed to GMOs, trust it was okay to eat that food, even go out of their way to buy it?  The manager said it is up to the customers – or they have the choice – to inform themselves.  The customer said something about most customers are under the impression that the food is organic at Whole Foods or at least not GMO, because of what Whole Foods suggests.  The manager repeated it is up to the customers.

The customer said WF is tricking people and benefiting from seeming to care about organic yet not even wanting people to talk about the food.

At some point, the customer, considerably older than the manager who was continually repeating the slippery corporate position, and without seeming to feel a thing about the duplicity the customer was complaining of, stopped talking about the food.  Instead the customer said something to the manager about this being a life and death issue, so to keep repeating WF’s corporate position wasn’t good for her own spiritual life.  The customer suggested she read an article by Chris Hedges called the Careerists, about people doing things for position, for advancement.

The customer finally went to check out, but as they put a couple of items on the check out counter, suddenly couldn’t bear to give WF a dime after what they were doing – stopping even freedom of speech – so left the items on the counter and started to leave.  They started crying from the strain of the whole thing and from the cruelty on WF’s part toward its own customers, exposing them intentionally to GMOs while doing more than lying to them, but generating a whole image of helping them.   A worker there gave the customer a hug and said very quietly, she really understood, lots of people who worked there understood.  When the customer left, they thanked the police for being nice and urged him to look up the Criigen study to protect his own family from cancers and early deaths.

That night, the customer read Ronnie Cummins’ article about “WF’s support” for Prop 37, which Cummnis said wasn’t  support at all, but actually critical of Prop 37, and how WF claimed they couldn’t donate because of corporate policy but had donated against a struggle by food workers.

People think it’s not possible to boycott WF, because WF has cornered the market and people have no other place to get organic things than there.  But there is an easy way to boycott WF so they feel the impact of their putting the lives of their customers at risk of cancer and early deaths.

1.  People can stop buying any item made in the WF store (such as their GMO soups, GMO breads, GMO deli items, GMO pizzas, etc.).
2.  They can stop buying anything made by Whole Foods, even if shipped in and not made on site.
3.  They can stop buying anything with WF’s 365 brand, even if it is labeled organic.

And they can do more.  If there is a Trader Joe in the area, people can do all their shopping only at Trader Joe’s  which itself is not doing right but one must focus on one target at a time for maximum impact.  People can just be careful to buy only organic things there).

People can then let WF know

  • people won’t be buying from them because of their duplicity around GMOs and threat even to children’s lives,
  • how much money per week people will not be spending at WF,
  • that people will be telling all their friends and face booking and twittering it, and
  • that people will be making signs for their car window saying “WF sells GMOs – buy your organic food only from Trader Joe’s.”

Because of WF’s actions, the door is now wide open for new food retailers to pop up across the country who pledge to sell only organic food. They don’t have to be upscale to win people’s hearts.  They just have to be honest and sell the only food fit for consumption – organic food.  GMOs don’t even qualify as food and the corporations know it and have changed the definition of food to “stuff.”

Real food supports life and fertility, and even heals.  Stuff doesn’t act like food.  Terrible things happen from it.


The Bt in the GMOs, for example, cause holes in the gut of those who eat it, and things go downhill from there.  Since Whole Food sells “stuff” that makes holes in intestinal walls, and doesn’t really care about “whole” foods, it can more accurately be renamed “Hole Foods.”

People may end up saying “stuff it” to Hole Foods.