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Somebody just got dumped, Green Monsters.
No, it’s not another celebrity breakup: Whole Foods has announced it will halt its sales of Chobani yogurts by early 2014. And guess what? It’s because of Chobani’s use of GMO ingredients in its line of Greek yogurts.
As reported by The Verge, “Though Chobani advertises the inclusion of only natural ingredients in its yogurt, it also says that some of its yogurt could be made with milk from cows that were given GMOs in their feed — a disclaimer that isn’t currently listed on its packaging.”
And, because Whole Foods has plans to have all GMO foods sold in its stores labeled by 2018 (and also plans to “collaborate with them as they transition to sourcing non-GMO ingredients”), Chobani is already out.
“Whole Foods Market challenged its Greek yogurt suppliers to create unique options for shoppers to enjoy – including exclusive flavors, non-GMO options and organic choices. At this time, Chobani has chosen a different business model, so Whole Foods Market will be phasing Chobani Greek Yogurt out of its stores in early 2014 to make room for product choices that aren’t readily available on the market,” Whole Foods stated.
Chobani was polite about the break-up and seemingly hopeful about the future: “Though we have limited distribution within Whole Foods, they have been a wonderful and an important partner of ours over the years,” Chobani said in a statement this week. “As the number one Greek yogurt brand in America using only natural ingredients, we share an affinity with Whole Foods and its shoppers. We know our fans love buying our products in their stores and we hope to continue our partnership moving forward.”
Does this mean Chobani will make a GMO-free comeback so it can grace the Whole Foods shelves in the future? While we can’t yet be sure, we can take from this move that Whole Foods’ plan to make GMOs transparent (and less prevalent) on its shelves certainly may have an impact on food companies still wanting to partner with the company. “Whole Foods is certainly succeeding in using its leadership position in the organic food market to drive change,” writes Maxx Chatsko of finance and investment analysis blog The Motley Fool.
It could, perhaps, be a move as part of the even larger global trend of phasing out GMOs altogether: one can only dream, right? Until then, we’ll take break-ups with companies that won’t label GMOs or source them out altogether.
Image Source: Daniel/Flickr