On heels of Canada's approval, more retailers say no to GMO salmon

On heels of Canada’s approval, more retailers say no to GMO salmon

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the heels of Canada’s approval of GMO salmon, Friends of the Earth U.S. and a coalition of more than 30 consumer, health, food safety and fishing groups released updated numbers today showing that nearly 80 major food retailers have committed to not sell genetically engineered salmon, despite FDA’s approval last November. 

“Despite irresponsible approvals, the growing number of commitments from retailers demonstrates there is no market for GMO salmon,” said Dana Perls, senior food and technology campaigner with Friends of the Earth. “Retailers and restaurants are wisely listening to their customers and rejecting GMO salmon.”

Albertsons Companies, owner of Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, ACME, Shaw’s and others, stated its commitment to not sell GMO salmon. 

In an emailed statement, Albertsons Companies confirmed that: 

“Albertsons Companies, and its family of stores, have no plans to carry GE salmon. The seafood products we offer will continue to be selected consistent with our Responsible Seafood Policy and our partnership with FishWise,” said Albertsons Companies Senior Vice President, Jonathan Mayes.

Albertsons Companies, which acquired Safeway in January 2015, continued Safeway’s policy on sustainable seafood and GMO salmon for all of its banner stores. 

With Albertsons Companies banner stores, a total of more than 79 grocery retailers with over 11,000 stores have now made commitments to not sell the GMO salmon, including Albertsons, Safeway, Costco (NASDAQ: COST), Kroger (NYSE: KR), Target (NYSE: TGT), Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM), along with restaurant chains including Red Lobster and Legal Sea Foods.

Walmart (NYSE: WMT), the world’s largest retailer, and Publix are among the last remaining large retail grocers in the U.S. that have not said publicly whether or not they will sell GMO salmon. 

A growing body of science suggests that GMO salmon may pose serious environmental and public health risks, including potentially irreversible damage to wild salmon populations. 

In the wake of controversy over the U.S. approval, the U.S. has put in place an import ban on GMO salmon until labeling standards are established. The day after Canada’s announcement, Provincial Fisheries Minister of Nova Scotia announced the province will ban the farming of GMO fish.

More information on health and environmental risks of genetically engineered salmon and a full list of stores that have made commitments to not sell genetically engineered seafood and salmon, letters sent to companies by Friends of the Earth and allies, and a list of coalition partners are available at www.gefreeseafood.org.

Grocery stores, restaurants and chefs can add their name to the Pledge for GE-Free Seafood by visiting /gefreeseafood


Expert contact: Dana Perls, (510) 978-4425, [email protected]

Communications contact: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744; [email protected]

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