A coalition of U.S. consumer, health, food safety and fishing groups launched the “Campaign for Genetically Engineered (GE)-Free Seafood” on April 5 by announcing that several major grocery retailers representing more than 2,000 stores across the U.S. have committed not to sell GE seafood if it is allowed onto the market.
The growing market rejection of GE fish comes as the FDA conducts its final review of a GE salmon. If approved, the salmon would be the first-ever genetically engineered animal allowed to enter the human food supply.
Stores that have committed to not offer the salmon or other genetically engineered seafood include national retailers Trader Joe’s (367 stores), Aldi (1,230 stores), Whole Foods (325 stores in US); regional chains such as Marsh Supermarkets (93 stores in Indiana and Ohio), PCC Natural Markets (9 stores in Washington State); and co-ops in Minnesota, New York, California and Kansas.
We applaud these retailers for listening to the vast majority of their customers who want sustainable, natural seafood for their families. Now it’s time for other food retailers, including Walmart, Costco and Safeway, to follow suit and let their customers know they will not be selling unlabeled, poorly studied genetically engineered seafood,” said Eric Hoffman, food & technology policy campaigner with Friends of the Earth.
“Consumers Union has serious concerns about the safety of the first genetically engineered fish, a salmon engineered to grow to maturity twice as fast as wild salmon. FDA decided based on data from just six fish that there was no increased risk to people with fish allergies. However, even these meager data suggest that these fish show increased allergic potential,” says Michael Hansen, PhD, senior scientist with Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.
The majority of Americans say they won’t eat genetically engineered seafood, and 91% of Americans say the FDA should not allow it onto the market (Lake Research poll).