Whole Foods CEO's Web Ranting not Worth Taking Action Over, Says SEC

:Federal securities regulators have recommended that no action be taken over the notorious anonymous postings on financial-news Web sites that Whole Foods Markets' c.e.o. John Mackey made last year, the grocer said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

Last July, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods disclosed that the SEC and its own directors were investigating the postings that John Mackey made from 1999 to 2006, anonymously praising Whole Foods' stock and suggesting that rival Wild Oats Markets, Inc. might fall into bankruptcy.

Whole Foods ended up buying Wild Oats last year for $565 million.

The internal investigation at Whole Foods was completely in October with a board vote of confidence in Mackey's leadership team. Mackey apologized for the postings.

Mackey's postings surfaced when Whole Foods was required to turn over filings to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC examined whether the purchase of Wild Oats violated antitrust standards.

The FTC has so far been unsuccessful in trying to block the acquisition, but not for lack of trying.

In other Whole Foods news, the grocer said yesterday it will begin selling FEED 100 reusable shopping bags in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on May 1. Each bag purchased for $29.99 will help provide 100 nutritious meals to hungry school age children in Rwanda through the United Nation World Food Program's (WFP) School Feeding Program, said Whole Foods.

Whole Foods created the initiative in partnership with FEED Projects, a "socially minded business with hopes of feeding the world."
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