PCC Natural Markets free of high fructose corn syrup

Seattle, Wash., November 28, 2007 — PCC Natural Markets (PCC), the nation's largest natural foods cooperative, has eliminated all products from its shelves that contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Peer-reviewed studies have linked HFCS to health disorders, including fatty liver disease. Many nutritionists also contend that HFCS has no nutritional value, does not satisfy hunger, and may prompt the body to crave more sweets.

"PCC began the process of eliminating products with HFCS several months ago," says Paul Schmidt, PCC's director of merchandising. "We gave our vendors the opportunity to reformulate and repackage products containing HFCS, with the understanding that compliance with our HFCS-free standard was expected within a reasonable length of time. Their response was very positive and we have replaced items across our product line with HFCS-free offerings that we and our shoppers can feel good about."

HFCS has become popular as a sweetener in products such as soft drinks, condiments and baked goods because it is less expensive than many other sweeteners, such as cane sugar; is in liquid form and easier to blend; and can contribute to a longer product shelf and freezer life.

The American price of sugar (higher than the global price) and government subsidies of corn crops, from which HFCS is made, have resulted in HFCS being an attractive sweetener for major food and beverage manufacturers. However, most, if not all, HFCS is likely to be derived from genetically-modified corn, yet another consumer health concern.

PCC sells a wide selection of snacks and other food products containing healthier natural sweeteners such as evaporated cane juice, molasses, honey, maple syrup and stevia.

Earlier this year PCC announced the elimination of all fresh dairy products containing rBGH, the artificial growth hormone widely used to increase the milk production of dairy cows, and all products containing artificial trans-fats.

About PCC Natural Markets: Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., PCC Natural Markets is a certified organic retail cooperative with annual sales of $112 million and an active membership of nearly 40,000 households. PCC operates eight stores in the Seward Park, View Ridge, Greenlake, West Seattle, Fremont, Kirkland, Redmond, and Issaquah neighborhoods. www.pccnaturalmarkets.com

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Media contact

Diana Chapman
PCC Natural Markets

206-547-1222, ext. 106
206-390-6657 (cell)

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