My name is Brian Bowers and I have been a part of Sunfood since 2002. With nearly 10 years at the company I believe I am the most qualified person in the world to address some recent internet rumors about Sunfood, David Wolfe and Monsanto. I am writing this to defend the honor of dedicated, hard working people who have been hurt by misinformation, to set the record straight and to get out the truth about our company.
Sunfood is not involved with Monsanto in any way, it never has been and never will be. Sunfood is anti-GMO and anti-pesticide. Sunfood has never had money that came from Monsanto. No Monsanto lawyers, employees or agents have ever supported, represented or been involved with Sunfood in any way shape or form. In 2006 David Wolfe brought Doug Harbison into Sunfood to help restructure the company and buy out David’s original partner in the business. Doug’s father had worked for Monsanto more than 20 years prior to Doug’s involvement and David was fully aware of this when he brought Doug into Sunfood. Doug’s original role was as David’s business coach and they appeared to be friends. Doug never worked for Monsanto and no “Monsanto agents” were ever at Sunfood. Doug was never more than a minority share holder in the company and has never been “the owner” of Sunfood. Doug played a limited role in the operations of the company and always relied on our management team of raw food veterans (which included me) to make decisions regarding products. Doug Harbison is no longer with Sunfood and we wish him well in his future endeavors. Monsanto is a publicly traded company. If they owned Sunfood, had in investment in Sunfood or had any influence whatsoever, it would be public record.
Sunfood was not using David Wolfe’s name without permission. After his original partner (who managed the business) left David insisted the company be called “David Wolfe’s Sunfood Nutrition”. Every Sunfood product, logo, banner, etc. eventually included this name. When David signed an agreement and voluntarily left the company in mid 2009 he was well aware that we had thousands of these labels on hand, which is why the agreement allowed Sunfood to use up the old labels which bore his name. We quickly moved to rebrand the company as just “Sunfood”. Both David and his attorney were aware of exactly how many labels we had left, which products they were on and when we expected to use them up. They were nearly all gone when David made his first accusation that we were using his name without his permission (we have an agreement to the contrary). Later David took a photo of some products at a health food store and posted them on the internet as supposed proof that we were using his name illegally. Those products were sold to that store when we had full, written, legal permission from David to do so. From the moment David left we began removing his name from hundreds of labels, logos and from Sunfood.com. There was never a plan or intention to get sales using his name. It was only a mutually agreed upon effort to reduce waste and not send perfectly good labels, products and packaging to a landfill.
How did these rumors start? These rumors were started on David’s Facebook page. Despite what appears to be efforts on David’s part to damage the company, Sunfood has continued to thrive and grow. What could be more damaging than suggesting that an organic food company has a secret association with Monsanto? I believe it is about the worst thing someone could say. In my opinion these statements were designed to drive customers away from Sunfood.
Since the first posts appeared we have tried to communicate cordially with David and negotiate settlement in good faith with no success. David has since filed a lawsuit against us, in it he claims he was coerced into signing his exit agreement, and also makes other claims that I believe are not accurate. After many attempts to resolve the issue we have decided to file a counter suit for slander against David based on his original Facebook posts that have since spread to many places on the internet.
The rumors have morphed from Sunfood being involved with Monsanto to Sunfood being owned by Monsanto and selling GMO foods. In reality, all of our foods are non-GMO, all raw and all organic. We can prove it with our organic certifications. I hope that anyone reading this would be more careful about their role in spreading gossip and mis-truths. I saw many well intentioned people copying and pasting messages around the web, completely unaware that they were spreading rumors.
This situation has hurt more than just Doug, it has hurt everyone that worked at Sunfood. These are good-hearted people who are working toward the same goal, to spread the benefits of healthy eating to an ailing world. Despite all the rumors we continue to grow and thrive and provide the best foods in the industry. I’m sure we lost some customers over this. Why didn’t we respond sooner? We believed we could work things out with David and that this would not be necessary. However because David will not retract his statements I feel forced to respond to defend our dignity and integrity.
Sunfood is run by a dedicated team of passionate raw food enthusiasts. We look forward to continuing to share the benefits of including introducing more raw foods, superfoods and fresh foods in one’s diet. Our raw food team members (the same ones that have been here for many years) continue to scour the planet for the best products and run a green business. Our company is well run, is on a more solid financial foundation than it has ever been and is growing faster than it has ever grown. For more information about Sunfood go to http://www.sunfood.com/pages/about-sunfood