Whole Foods Assures ADL: We Do Not Boycott Israel

New York, NY, August 26, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed assurances from Whole Foods Market that the company does not engage in boycotts of products from Israel or any other country.

"Whole Foods Market has made it unequivocally clear that it has not and will not engage in boycotts against the state of Israel," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "In fact they continue to carry a number of Israeli products, and have assured us that they do so with pride."

The League reached out to Whole Foods in response to a rumor circulating on the Internet suggesting that Whole Foods was engaged in a boycott of the Jewish State and had refused to stock products originating from Israel. 

That rumor, perpetuated by online bloggers, turned out to be an urban legend.

While product availability varies greatly among its stores, which are decentralized into 12 operating regions across the country, the Whole Foods chain proudly carries a number of products from Israel. In fact, the company said that the rumor about its supposed anti-Israel stance began circulating on the Internet at the same time as some of Whole Food's buyers were on a sourcing trip to Israel.

In a letter to ADL, Jim Speirs, Global Vice President of Procurement for Whole Foods Market, wrote that, "The rumor that Whole Foods Market has boycotted products from Israel is absolutely not true. We have never boycotted products from Israel or from any other country for that matter. Whole Foods Market is discerning when it comes to quality and taste, not country of origin. We are proud to carry great-tasting products that meet our high quality standards from countries around the world, including Israel."

"We will certainly continue to source products from Israel, so we thank you for helping us to clear up this false rumor," he added.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.