Urge Grocery Chain to be Transparent About GMOs


Target: Dan Bane, CEO of Trader Joe’s

Goal: Insist Trader Joe’s become third-party certified to verify its private label food is not genetically modified

Trader Joe’s is, in most areas, a highly regarded grocery store chain. Its ambiance is fun, tropical and overall comfortable to shop in; its food is very affordable and overall delicious. However, consumers are becoming more aware of the food they eat and feed their families, desiring transparency in labeling and process in order to adequately decide what the most healthful foods are. Trader Joe’s insists that all of its private label food items are not genetically modified (GMO), but fails to offer proof of this claim through third-party verification on a regular basis.

In order to believably and certifiably be non-GMO, a product must be tested and claimed organic by the USDA, or regulated by the Non-GMO Project, both of which would label the product with appropriate verification. Trader Joe’s openly states that it relies solely on its own product supply team to determine if a product from a supplier is GMO or non. Trader Joe’s does not want to certify through the Non-GMO Project due to the process being costly. The grocery chain will investigate an individual product through third-parties, determining if it is GMO or non, only if a consumer complains about said product; even then, Trader Joe’s will not disclose which third-party verification is used.

Though whole-heartedly trusting in a corporation would be ideal, this trust is not realistic. Third party verification is necessary to gain consumer trust and prove dedication to the environment and human health. Urge Trader Joe’s to stop its secretive avoidance of labeling its products by seeking transparent and trustworthy third-party verification of its private label on a regular basis.


Dear Dan Bane,

Trader Joe’s is a very successful, privately owned grocery store chain, as you well know. A few years ago, Trader Joe’s earned eight billion dollars in profit; there is no doubt that Trader Joe’s could literally and figuratively afford adequate transparency in regard to its products. Mr. Bane, I urge you to have your declared non-GMO products third party verified through a trustworthy source, such as the Non GMO Project or the USDA.

Though many consumers would prefer to trust businesses without proof, this is not realistic. Consumers care about what they feed themselves and their families. To claim that Trader Joe’s has its products non-GMO verified through its own product supply team, with no efforts to prove these claims or publicize any affidavits, is far from transparent or trustworthy. In order to stay competitive within the industry, third-party and transparent verification will be necessary.

Please adopt transparent methods, Mr. Bane. Third-party verify your private label for consumers’ sake.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: David Shankbone via Wikipedia

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