Whole Foods Market's recent decision to require labels on foods sold in its stores after 2018 that contain genetically modified ingredients is a pro-consumer move. It smartly sidesteps the controversy over whether such labeling should be mandatory.

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Even better, since 2009, the upscale grocery chain has been labeling many products that do not contain genetically modified organisms. Consumers should have that information so they can make informed decisions about what they eat.

The Food and Drug Administration has concluded that genetically modified products are safe and the agency doesn't require that they be labeled. But voluntary labeling of foods would let consumers speak loudly with their dollars, which will allow the market to determine the fate of genetically modified foods.