On Saturday, July 28, 2012, members of the Atlanta Genetic Crimes Unit and the Food Supply Rescue Coalition descended on the Trader Joe’s store located at 931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta, GA to shop for some truth.
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On Sunday, July 29, 2012, members of the Genetic Crimes Unit descended on the Trader Joe’s store located in the West End neighborhood of Washington, DC to shop for some truth. The group photograph above shows the GCU throwing suspect corn chips into the air. Below are some of the other photos taken outside of the Trader Joe’s:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GCU Media Liaison: Gene Etic 202-744-2671
Occupy Monsanto to Shop for
Truth at Trader Joe’s
Food Activists Demand Trader Joe’s Provide Proof Foods Sold in Stores are not Contaminated by Monsanto
WASHINGTON, DC— On Sunday, July 29, 2012, Occupy Monsanto’s agents of change with the Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU), a group designed to protect America from genetically modified foods, will ‘Shop for Truth’ at Trader Joe’s during a nationwide weekend of activism targeting the chain grocer. The DC-area GCU will gather in hazmat suits at noon outside the Trader Joe’s location at 1101 25th St. NW, Washington, DC to demand that the Monrovia, California-based Trader Joe’s provide proof that the foods sold in their stores under their own brands are free of Monsanto’s patented genes.
According to the Trader Joe’s website, the grocer sources all ingredients for its private label brands from non-genetically engineered crops, but provides no proof of this claim, nor does the grocer work with any known 3rd party verification services. The GCU believes that Trader Joe’s may be genetically contaminated by Monsanto’s gastronomical experiments and will be joining other GCUs from San Francisco, California to Portland, Maine over the weekend to demand that Trader Joe’s go beyond mere assurances and provide its customers with proof of their claims.
“If Trader Joe’s takes pride in the food they sell, why do they hide the truth from their customers?” asks GCU Agent Stacey Sanchez, “We don’t trust corporations like Trader Joe’s that have a profit motive, so the burden of proof lies in the corporate offices of Trader Joe’s.” The DC-area GCU has reason to believe that Trader Joe’s non-private label foods, which are not certified USDA Organic and contain corn, soy, canola, or sugar beets, are likely to be contaminated with genetically engineered ingredients.
“We will not spend thousands of dollars to send Trader Joe’s foods to laboratories for testing, instead we want Trader Joe’s to come clean,” says GCU Agent Richard Smith, “Trader Joe’s could easily become America’s first certified GMO-free grocery chain, but they won’t as long as they’re selling so called non-GMO foods without proof.”
WHO: Occupy Monsanto’s Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU) & Concerned Citizens
WHAT: Shopping for Truth at Trader Joe’s, Protest and Street Theater
WHEN: Sunday, July 29, Noon
WHERE: Trader Joe’s, 1101 25th St. NW, Washington, DC 20037
For the week of September 17, 2012 Occupy Monsanto’s GCU Agents have organized more than 40 global actions targeting Monsanto, the biotechnology industry, and points of genetically engineered food distribution. More details at: https://www.Occupy-Monsanto.com
We were sent this Incident Report by Jeanne Blackwell from California. She loves Trader Joe’s and even wrote a letter called “I love Trader Joe’s” but like thousands of TJ’s customers, she wants proof that their products do not contain genetically engineered ingredients.
Below she explains that TJ’s was hostile toward signature gatherers for the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act ballot initiative:
I was the San Luis Obispo county volunteer signature gather coordinator here in California. Our job was to gather 527,000 statewide signatures for the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act ballot initiative. We did it and with flying colors — we collected almost a million signatures statewide. In San Luis Obispo county we collected 8,000 signatures in less than a month.
Trader Joe’s was particularly ugly about allowing our signature gatherers in front of their store. They went so far as to put a sign in front whenever we were there. The employees harassed and belittled an 83-year-old volunteer by shouting in his face “You are not welcomed here.” I really tried to talk to our local managers and then I contacted the corporate office. Local managers were downright hostile and corporate never responded. I wrote a letter and sent it out to the label GMO campaign and local media.
When I saw that they carry GMO products like Barbara’s Go Lean I asked them to explain. They said more than once, and as a recently as last week, “Our store brands are NOT GMOs.” I followed up by asking about their Trader Joe corn tortillas. They assured me the corn was NOT GMO.
I would very much like to expose Trader Joe’s. I am pissed. The store does an extraordinary business and is built on the principle that their products are safe and non-GMO. People are trying to do the right thing and be responsible shoppers. They trust TJ’s. If TJ’s is lying there is going to be hell to pay.
Perhaps Trader Joe’s is so hostile because some of the food they sell contains genetically engineered ingredients. That’s why we plan to go Shopping for Truth at Trader Joe’s during the last weekend of July.