Top shareholders in Whole Foods and Monsanto: identical

Top shareholders in Whole Foods and Monsanto: identical

By Jon Rappoport

February 25, 2014

Is there a Whole Foods-Monsanto connection?

The answer is yes.

But the important question is: what does this connection mean?

What does it imply?

Is it significant?

If you consult open listings (for example,, you can look at the major shareholders of these two publicly traded companies, Monsanto and Whole Foods.

If you read the top 10 shareholders for each company—the holders of the most stock—you’ll see that five out of those ten are the same.

Who are those five?

Don’t prepare to see the names of individuals.

The five are funds. Investment funds.

They are, at the moment: Vanguard Total Stock Mkt. Index; SPDR S&P 500; Vanguard Institutional Index I; Vanguard 500 Index Inv; Harbor Capital Appreciation Instl.

These funds buy stocks in many, many companies.

These funds don’t say, “Well, we’ll buy Monsanto and Whole Foods stock and then exert massive direct control over Whole Foods and make it bow to Monsanto’s agenda.” No. That’s not how it works.

These funds make automatic purchases of stocks, based on computer calculations and based on the S&P rankings of companies.

These investment funds could be sitting on Mars, and their computers would be running numbers and buying and selling stock in Earth companies with no input from the outside.

Unless…something came up. Unless something big came up. Unless a private and elite word went out that Whole Foods was becoming a threat to some entrenched interest, some vital agenda. For example, some Monsanto agenda.

In that case, one of these big shareholders could cast a proxy vote that would go against the aims or plans of Whole Foods.

One of Vanguard’s investment funds is THE top shareholder of Monsanto, and the fourth largest shareholder of Whole Foods. Here, from Vanguard’s website, is a quote from “Vanguard’s proxy voting guidelines.” Read carefully:

In evaluating proxy proposals, we consider information from many sources, including but not limited to, the investment advisor for the fund, the management or shareholders of a company presenting a proposal, and independent proxy research services. We will give substantial weight to the recommendations of the company’s board, absent guidelines or other specific facts that would support a vote against management. In all cases, however, the ultimate decision [on how to vote] rests with the members of the [Vanguard] Committee, who are accountable to the [Vanguard] fund’s Board.”

The key excerpt from this paragraph is: “We will give substantial weight to the recommendation of the company’s board, absent guidelines or other specific facts that would support a vote AGAINST MANAGEMENT.”

Bottom line, in plain English, it goes this way: “We, as an investment fund, hold a huge number of shares of a company (like Whole Foods). If the company is holding a vote on its future plans and policies, we can, if we decide to, weigh in with our huge voting block and go against the wishes of that company. And win.”

The Matrix Revealed

If such a proxy vote came down to favoring the agenda of Monsanto or Whole Foods, and if the situation was crucial enough, who do you think would come out on top? Who would be torpedoed?

Taking this a step further: with Whole Foods’ decision, in January of 1992, to go public, to become a publicly traded company, to sell stock out in the open, it put itself into a world where money talks a language that is no longer simply based on products sold and company profit.

Whole Foods entered a world where billions and trillions of dollars exert influence, where “important people” can “have discussions” with companies and “suggest strategies” and “offer advice” that goes beyond how to run a successful enterprise.

If someone who is tangentially associated with one of Whole Foods’ top shareholders shows up and wants to talk, there are ears ready to listen.

Remember, that top shareholder in Whole Foods is also a top investor in Monsanto. It isn’t hard to figure out which company—Whole Foods or Monsanto—occupies the superior position in that someone’s mind.

The top shareholder in Whole Foods holds a boatload of proxy votes in his back pocket. He can cast them with or against Whole Foods. The possibility is always there.

Jon Rappoport

The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at

33 comments on “Top shareholders in Whole Foods and Monsanto: identical

  1. david oldfield says:

    pass the glyphosate , please…..:-)

  2. I’ve been very suspicious about those two for a long time.

  3. Paul Revere says:

    It becomes even more obvious each day, how corrupt & fascistic the current system is. It is the partnership of those individuals in favored corporations & all branches of government so that they may exploit the people. No matter what ‘ism’ they blather about – it’s all the same.

  4. laurabruno says:

    Yes, this is why we need a new economy and also why we need to support local co-ops and local organic farmers, grow our own food, support privately held companies so that they can feel successful enough without going into the public morass of corporate deviance.

    • kjcad says:

      Laura, Telling people to patronize food coops is naive, unless you inform them of the following and let them know they can take back their coop. The five retail coops that I am a member of in the midwest are essentially United Natural Foods Inc. company stores. I have been trying for years to explain to their boards what Jon has so eloquently described. It would be great if Jon would make the same comparison with Monsanto shareholders and UNFI shareholders. UNFI controls 60-80% of the shelf space in most US food cooperatives. That is because UNFI (who also owns Alberts produce) hostilely took over and took down all of the 28 cooperative distributor warehouses that were independently owned by coops, small retailers and buying clubs. This occurred in the early part of the last decade, 1997-2003. Now there are 28 UNFI warehouses. Coop members who are now much more mainstream than before are incredibly naive about the supply chain for natural foods. They naively think that all the food in their food coop is gmo-free (NOT), pesticide/herbicide free (NOT) and additive free (NOT). The managers of the coops know this but refuse to educate their members about food safety all the while claiming that member education is one of the cooperative principles. The National Cooperative Grocers Association is in bed with UNFI and dictates policies to their members of which most of the larger food coops belong. The whole thing is a fiasco. And last year or two ago, Whole Foods just renewed its partnership with UNFI until 2020. At which point UNFI states in its proprietary prospectus that if Whole Foods decides to do its own distribution and does not renew their partnership, that UNFI will start to opportunistically acquire the higher margin retail sector (which includes food coops). Lest you think coops cannot be bought, they absolutely were at the wholesale distributor level. UNFI will come along and say,”Hey we can do this friendly-like where you Board Members sell the idea to your members that its in everyone’s best interest to sell and get your equity, cause a takeover/takedown is inevitable. We might even pay you something for each year of service you have on your board, but that’s hush-hush, cash under the table. Or else we’ll just take you down by opening up across the street and out of stocking you.” And those members who are preferred stock investors will put pressure on the board to comply and pretty soon, before you know it, no more coop, just a UNFI owned retail store.

      • laurabruno says:

        Thanks for bringing this up! It makes me feel very fortunate that our co-op board invited me to speak at a meeting about covert GMO’s and Monsanto’s new “organic” line. The board and manager and staff very much want to be on top of this. Our co-op does have a commitment to organics and non-GMO, so far as they know. They were alarmed to hear of things possibly slipping under the radar. I did not know that this attitude was so unusual at co-ops, as the ones I have been a member of have been quite vigilant. Good info!

    • benitro says:

      I agree, I think we need to stop using money eventually, everybody become self sufficient and reform our society without money.

  5. laurabruno says:

    Reblogged this on Laura Bruno's Blog and commented:
    People keep sending me this article and asking if I’ve read it, so I’m reblogging it here. Yes, I have read this; no, it was not a surprise. Whole Foods is a publicly owned company. When companies go public, they leave themselves open to covert buy-outs and shareholder pressures. It’s not just Whole Foods. Most of the organic companies have been bought by large corporations who use the $$ they make from their organic line in order to fund NO on GMO labeling or GMO ban campaigns. We need a new economy and new paradigm. In the meantime, grow your own food; fight for the right to have heirloom and organic seeds; support your local, organic farmers; research companies and vote with your money; and practice whatever your most powerful visioning/magick/art, whatever you want to call it to create a new universe. This one’s (soggy) toast. Infinite new ones can replace it, but we must act on all levels, especially the imagination.

    • nina says:

      Good ideas, laurabruno! I went to whole foods once and I was appalled at the prices. Many good alternatives and it is super easy to grow greens anywhere.

  6. Ter ber says:

    Thanks for doing the research for us. evolutionvsGod. com

  7. Gerard McDougal says:

    My ex-wife and one of my children worked for Whole Foods. Myself and another son have been in the health food industry, although never with Whole Foods. I have shopped there a fair amount, though not now as the town I live in is not big enough for Whole Foods. Among the younger set, my kids and their contemporaries, there is a reason it is known as “Whole Paycheck.”

    On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, Jon Rappoport’s Blog wrote:

    > Jon Rappoport posted: “Top shareholders in Whole Foods and Monsanto: > identical By Jon Rappoport February 25, 2014 > Is there a Whole Foods-Monsanto connection? The answer is yes. But the > important “

  8. […] (Jon Rappoport) Is there a Whole Foods-Monsanto connection? […]

  9. […] Top shareholders in Whole Foods and Monsanto: identical […]

  10. Back to the old adage:
    “He who pays the piper, names the tune!”
    When it comes to publicly-traded companies, it always boils down to, “he, who with deepest pockets,” is the one who controls the decision-making for the company, and NOT any of the company’s former owners. Just such a crying shame that so many formerly-good companies, especially in the “organic market”, have turned over to the biggest payouts, rather than continue to be loyal to their loyal customers’ wishes!
    – Rev. Dragon’s Eye

  11. They are all the same shareholders for every corporation. The top 1% are playing a little game up there passing the money around over our heads.

  12. TR M says:

    Or the investment funds play both sides like the bankers backing both sides in a war. The winner is irrelevant to them. They make money either way.

  13. Nowhere Man says:

    There are a lot of organics at Whole Foods but then there are the rest. There is a certain feeling also about the place. $’s king. And the general lack of potency of the 365 products.

  14. 924COLLECTIVE says:

    Thank you for this eye opening expose. We were in Pulix today (we live in South Florida) and increasingly we are seeing the Organic and “Green Wise” sections rapidly vanishing, this is an alarming trend for a “employee owned” company, and just shows how shady these “health food games” really get. Once again, thank you for exposing how these Corporate Companies reap huge rewards off the “healthy lifestyle movement” Good Vibes and Sunshine from Miami 😀

  15. Jon Rappaport highlights how this interlocking directorate works on a company level by looking at Monsanto and Whole Foods. He shows that five out of the top 10 shareholders for each company – the holders of the most stock – are the same. The five are investment funds and they buy stocks in many companies. But this should not be regarded as some kind of conscious conspiracy to control the food market, although such a practice should not be discounted. Rappaport says these funds make automatic purchases of stocks, based on computer calculations and based on the rankings of companies.

  16. healthdan says:

    Another way to look at those overlapping investments from those very large investment funds is diversification. Or hedging their bets.

  17. OrcaAndOwl says:

    Gross. I worked there at the time the majority of the shares were sold. Our manager basically came in and said Whole Foods has 0$ in the bank, so we’re selling half the company to blank… Note within a month or two we were voting on the best way to reduce our health benefits, and were told we couldn’t hire enough people to help the customers.

    Now they are doing more layoffs and cancelling store openings, in my mind, the culture totally changed after the sale. I love that while most employees lost lots of stock, in the company buyback of stock, most just went back to the NASDAQ, upper management, and CEO’s. If I hear one more time that people on the top got there from hard work, I’m gonna freak out. Howard Schultz and John Mackey barely seem to have the strength to shake a person’s hand (no, I’m not kidding…weakest handshakes of anyone I’ve met).

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