This op-ed by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on health care is getting folks all riled up. Fine, I'm with you. But why is this the first time you've considered boycotting Whole Foods?

Mackey has made it quite clear that he's anti-union: According to union activist Sheila Payne, he once said, "The union is like having herpes. It doesn't kill you, but it's unpleasant and inconvenient, and it stops a lot of people from becoming your lover." Um. Ok. He personally intervened in the attempt of a Wisconsin store to unionize, asking workers to instead "'expand into love." And, as this Texas Observer piece notes, Whole Foods passed out fliers against the United Farm Workers, and declined to sign on to a pledge endorsed by most of the other large grocery chains decrying conditions for strawberry pickers.

More recently, Whole Foods was very much behind the push to kill EFCA. They, along with Starbucks and Costco, proposed a "third way," which, naturally, involved writing card check out of the legislation. After all, Mackey doesn't "feel things are worse off for labor today." Hey, Mackey, you're wrong.

And, while we're at it, Mackey is one of the original sock puppeters. Between 1999 and 2006, Mackey went on message boards championing his store and deriding competitor Wild Oats (which, of course, Whole Foods took over in 2007). He was investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and his own corporate board for the posts.

And, heck, if you want to stay with the foodie angle on this one, I'd refer you to Michael Pollan, who, despite my other problems with him, long ago pointed out that the big-ag organic approach of Whole Foods was problematic.

So, please, by all means, boycott Whole Foods. But shouldn't you have done that a while ago?

--Phoebe Connelly

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