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Food & Wine reports that Amazon-owned Whole Foods “is delaying a policy that would have required its suppliers to label genetically modified organism (GMO)-containing products on its store shelves by September of this year,” a policy that was announced five years ago.

According to the story, “Whole Foods cites upcoming U. S. Department of Agriculture standards as the reason behind the change and has not yet provided a new deadline.” The retailer told suppliers in a letter that it “wishes to avoid any undue additional costs or challenges to food manufacturers based on the USDA's guidelines.”

In a statement, Whole Foods says that “as the USDA finalizes the Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard and the food industry assesses the impact, we have decided to pause on our September 1, 2018 deadline for our GMO Labeling Policy. We remain committed to providing our customers with the level of transparency they want and expect from us and will continue to require suppliers to obtain third-party verification for non-GMO claims.”
KC's View:
Interesting. I wonder if there will be some who will argue that this represents less of a commitment to the GMO issue on Whole Foods’ part since it was acquired by Amazon. At first glance, it may be argued that Whole Foods is following rather than leading.

I think it may actually be more interesting that Amazon/Whole Foods is casting this as a pro-vendor position, especially since there are considerable tensions between the retailer and many of its suppliers these days. This may be something of an olive branch.