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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:19 pm 
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Whole Foods’ customers will have a new rating system to refer to when they’re purchasing fruits, vegetables and flowers. The retailer just launched Responsibly Grown, a tiered rating system that labels products as good, better, best, based on growing practices that effect human health and the environment. Whole Foods says it’s meant to compliment existing labels. It gives flower and produce growers supplying Whole Foods some hefty expectations to meet.

Perhaps the biggest thing with this new rating system is that it sets some specific standards for pest control, prohibiting the use of certain pesticides, including several organophospahtes. To achieve a “best” rating, a grower, among other things, cannot use four specific neonicotinoids. In fact, there are 10 pages of pesticide guidelines to read if you’re curious: Prohibited and Restricted Pesticides for Fresh Produce and Flowers.

In addition to looking at pest management, the rating system measures soil health; air, energy and climate impacts; waste reduction; worker welfare; water conservation and protection; ecosystems and biodiversity. The guidelines also require growers to disclose GMOs and prohibits the use of irradiation and biosolid fertilizers.

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