Whole Foods Market whistleblower says employees were deliberately trained to lie about GMOs - new Organic Spies video
new video from the group calling itself "Organic Spies" is once again rocking
the organic food industry. In the video, a woman who identifies herself as a
former employee of Whole Foods Market (WFM) testifies that she and other
employees were deliberately trained by Whole Foods Market management to lie to
store customers about whether the stores carry foods made with genetically
engineered ingredients (GMOs).
According to this female whistleblower,
whose identity is concealed for her protection, Whole Foods Market employees
were deliberately instructed to lie to customers as part of their employee
training. The denial of GMOs being sold in Whole Foods stores was an integral
part of the training of employees, she explains:
When we first
started, we had a "Day One and a Day Two, and they teach us about the core
values of Whole Foods Market, the core values of nothing's artificial,
everything's natural... When I first started at Whole Foods, I didn't know what
a GMO was. I had no idea what it was. They taught us what it was, and how
Whole Foods Market did not carry GMOs.
So if a customer would have
came up to me and said, do you guys have anything with GMOs? Does this product
contain GMOs? [I would have said] absolutely not. Does not contain GMOs. Because
we were taught that we don't carry anything with GMOs, only natural, nothing
Whistleblower confirmed as former Whole Foods employee
Organic Spies, Whole Foods Market deliberately taught employees to lie to
customers about GMOs for a five-year period, spanning 2007 - 2011.
Organic Spies group claims to have evidence of this from multiple Whole Foods
Market stores in several major cities across the United States.
Spies further claims that Whole Foods top executives were fully aware that
low-level employees were being deliberately trained to lie to customers about
GMOs. This claim is denied by Whole Foods Market (see below).
As part of
the due diligence conducted by Natural News, I personally saw documents that
appear to confirm this whistleblower was a former employee of Whole Foods. I
also spoke with her by phone and was able to confirm that she speaks with what
appears to be specialized knowledge that would not normally be known by someone
who had not been an actual employee of Whole Foods.
Here's an image from
the video, depicting this whistleblower:
this Organic Spies video, she goes on to explain:
I was shocked to
find out that Whole Foods did carry products containing GMOs. I feel like a
fool, you know, if a pregnant woman came up to me, or somebody with serious
medical issues asked me that, I would tell them no, we do not carry anything
with GMOs... firmly believing that we didn't carry anything with GMOs.
my training, the ASTL did Day One, Day Two. They're like the second person in
charge of the store. And on top of them is the store team leader, who's in
charge of the whole store. I believe that whoever was teaching the class, the
ASTL, also believed that there was no GMOs in the store, and everybody who
worked in the store, I really believe thought that there was no GMOs. Who's
telling the ASTLs that train us that there are no GMOs?
whistleblower explains, there does seem to be quite a lot of "corporate
indoctrination" taking place with new employees on their "Day One" (code word
for their first day of work). Natural News found this comment from a person
describing themselves as a Whole Foods Market employee on Indeed.com
which appears to further support this idea:
"Zerohito" My aversion began on my Day One - this is code for your
first day at work, it's a day of training, seeing where everything is at,
watching videos of john mackey who reminds me a lot of some kind of seventies
new age amway / est communist guru and various nationwide team members
brainwashing the new team member of the various ways that whole foods market is
superior to the bunch. and then they test you on the ways in which its great and
unique several times throughout the day. and then make you sign it. it was so
weird i actually wanted to walk out. but i didn't because the money's pretty
good and the economy is poor...
This indoctrination effort appears to
be very effective. Employees tend to believe what they are told by corporate
training videos. As this Organic Spies whistleblower went on to
When Organic Spies came out and they had on film team members
saying we don't carry GMOs, I know they whole-heartedly believed that Whole
Foods didn't carry GMOs. That's what we were taught. They didn't carry
GMOs. So when the Organic Spies came out, I called my friends who used to work
at Whole Foods. I said, did you know that Whole Foods carried GMOs? No! They do?
Yeah! They do!
Organic Spies strikes again
This new video is the second major release
from the group calling itself "Organic Spies," which made headlines last year by
catching dozens Whole Foods employees on video giving out false and misleading
information about GMOs sold in their stores.
The first Organic Spies video, available
here on TV.naturalnews.com, received hundreds of thousands of views on
YouTube before it was suddenly censored by YouTube, most likely under pressure
from Whole Foods Market. It featured over a dozen Whole Foods employees lying to
customers and stating that Whole Foods did not carry or sell any genetically
As a statement of fact, Whole Foods carries all sorts of
foods containing GMOs, and after this Organic Spies video hit the 'net, Whole
Foods was forced into a public relations position where they needed to issue a
public denial, claiming they did not intentionally train their employees that
the stores do not carry GMOs.
Whole Foods carries so many different GMOs
that they don't even know how many GMO products they carry. As stated by a Whole
Foods employee in a public relations video, "Does Whole Foods Market have GMOs
in our stores? Yes, we probably do have lots and lots of products that contain
GMO ingredients in our stores. How many? We don't know... and neither does any
other grocer in the United States."
see this shocking quote from an actual Whole Foods Market spokesperson, watch
the new Organic Spies video at:
In a September 27, 2012 blog post, Whole Foods CEO A.C. Gallo
stated, "I hope you don't believe the claims that Whole Foods Market is coaching
its Team Members to give false information to its customers, because it's
completely untrue. The idea goes directly against who we are as a company -- for
years, we've worked hard to provide as much information as possible about our
products to our customers."
This statement is now directly contradicted
by the new Organic Spies video being released exclusively here at Natural News.
If the whistleblower is correct, it means A.C. Gallo was either deliberately
lying to the public or was inexplicably unaware of the corporate training being
given to new employees ("team members"). Click
here to watch the video now and decide for yourself.
Whole Foods now stands accused of functioning as an "organic fraud
The new Organic Spies video goes much further than merely accusing
Whole Foods of deliberately training its employees to lie about GMOs. It also
describes Whole Foods as an "organic fraud machine" and provides its reasoning
for that charge as follows:
• Whole Foods has been granted "certified
organic grocer" certification by CCOF, an organic foods certifier. It proudly
promotes the "USDA Organic" seal next to its name, causing customers to falsely
believe everything in the store is certified organic.
• In blogs such as
this one, Whole Foods refers to itself as a "Certified Organic
Grocer," further causing customers to falsely believe the store is 100%
• In reality, Whole Foods Market sells thousands of
products which are not certified organic at all. Many of Whole Foods' products
are grown with pesticides, herbicides and genetically engineered seeds from
Monsanto. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is openly admitted by Whole Foods
employees and executives.
• This deception is further reinforced by Whole Foods stores posting
very large signage on the side of its buildings that say things such as,
"Nothing Artificial. Ever." (See image, right). To understand why this claim is
blatantly false, realize that genetically engineered foods are, by definition,
• Whole Foods' claim that it is a "Certified Organic Grocer"
is extremely misleading to consumers who are tricked into thinking that
everything the store sells is organic (and therefore also non-GMO).
CCOF certification of Whole Foods is an abuse CCOF's certification power and
causes industry-wide harm because it dilutes the true meaning of organic
certification. If a store that isn't 100% organic can be "certified organic" by
CCOF, then what exactly does "organic" really mean? Can the corner quickie-mart
also be certified organic if it carries a few organic items among the Slim Jims
and Cheetos it sells?
Whole Foods' "organic" certification looks a lot like greenwashing
As you can see from this image on the right, Whole Foods proudly
proclaims that it is "America's First National Certified Organic
The text underneath this bold statement explains:
prestigious recognition assures you that Whole Foods Market fulfills strict
handling standards so that the organic goods you purchase from us stay organic
from the farm to your shopping cart.
Hold on a sec, folks. Did you
really read that? This CCOF organic certification appears to be
certifying nothing more than the claim that "organic foods STAY
Is that really so amazing?
Because I have never seen, in
my over 10 years of investigative journalism in the natural health industry, any
organic food magically transform itself into a non-organic food. Pesticides do
not spontaneously appear out of nowhere...
So really, if you dig into the
Whole Foods organic certification granted by CCOF, it seems that Whole Foods is
really only being certified in its food handling. There is absolutely
nothing in the certification that says Whole Foods sells only organic foods,
which would be the commonsense requirement to be a "certified organic
According to the USDA, in fact, a food cannot be "certified
organic" unless it contains at least 95% certified organic ingredients. Does the
Whole Foods inventory consist of 95% certified organic products? Not even
As an independent investigative journalist, I have to agree with
Organic Spies that Whole Foods Market is engaged in quite a number of alarming
marketing deceptions. The "organic fraud machine" accusation has merit and needs
to be further investigated by the USDA as well as independent media like Natural
News. Why? Because the CCOF organic certification of Whole Foods appears to lack
any legitimate factual justification. The idea that a grocer can "handle foods"
in a specific way is simply not sufficient to achieve "organic certification"
for the entire store. The very idea is ridiculous, in fact.
By the way,
as background to all this, it is important to tell you that I am the director of
a USDA certified organic food manufacturing facility, and I have been through
the organic certification process. I am not simply throwing out wild guesses at
what organics really means. I am reporting this with the benefit of considerable
first-hand experience, and I can tell you with confidence that many consumers
will be misled by Whole Foods' claim to be a "certified organic grocer." Many
people will assume that means the entire store is all organic (which it
Natural Grocers tells the simple truth
Want to hear some honest language
from a truly certified organic grocer?
As Natural Grocery explains, "One of
the founding principles of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is a commitment to
quality. It is within this commitment that we sell only USDA certified organic
produce -- you will never find conventional produce at any of our
Simple, huh? So why can't Whole Foods be just as clear about
what it sells?
Organic Spies calls for USDA to intervene and stop the "organic fraud
In this new video, the Organic Spies group is calling for the USDA
to intervene and "stop the organic fraud machine."
to Organic Spies, Whole Foods has deliberately trained its employees to lie to
the public about the ingredients in the foods it sells, and it has furthermore
engaged in a highly deceptive campaign of what Organic Spies characterizes as
"fraud" by tricking consumers into believing everything it sells is organic (via
the CCOF "certified organic grocer" status).
Organic Spies requests you do not post this video on YouTube
attempt to post this video on YouTube, it will be immediately banned due to
YouTube's outrageous censorship of real journalism and
Thus, if you do post this video on YouTube and share the
link, people who try to click the link will end up seeing a "video removed"
message from YouTube. To avoid this, only share this
link from TV.naturalnews.com, which will be fully protected by Natural News
according to the First Amendment of the United States of America, as well as all
the protections of free speech accorded journalists and media organizations
operating in the public interest.
Natural News fully anticipates being
threatened by the Whole Foods Market legal team, and we are well aware of our
free speech rights as well as our responsibilities to protect our sources and
conduct meaningful investigative journalism in the public interest. In fact, we
would argue that we are one of the very few organizations left in America still
conducting actual investigative journalism. As such, we are willing to go to
great lengths to defend our First Amendment rights.