Issued by Friends of the Earth U.S. and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.
WASHINGTON, D.C., HALIFAX. November 17, 2017 – As the world’s first sale of genetically engineered fish is underway in Canada, the top food retailers across Canada and the U.S. have made public statements that they have no plans to sell the genetically engineered salmon.
Sobeys (TSX:SBY) is the latest and last of Canada’s national retailers to inform customers that it will not be selling the genetically engineered Atlantic salmon. Sobeys joins the two other top retailers Loblaw (L.TO) and Metro (MRU.TO); the three together represent over 50 percent of the Canadian food retail market. The Overwaitea Food Group, along with regional retailers such as Federated Co-operatives Limited and Longo’s have also said they will not sell genetically engineered salmon.
“Now that some genetically engineered salmon is being sold in Canada unlabeled, it is vital that consumers have this information from their grocery stores,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of CBAN.
The Canadian stores join major North American chains Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Whole Foods (WFM:US) as well as nearly 80 other U.S. retailers including Kroger (NYSE:KR), Trader Joe’s, Target (NYSE:TGT), and Aldi in making a commitment to not sell genetically engineered salmon.
“People have a right to know where their food comes from and exactly what’s in it, so that they can make informed choices about what they eat,” said Dana Perls, senior campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S. “Shrouding this genetically engineered fish in secrecy is unfair to consumers, to say nothing of the fact that genetically engineered salmon are unsustainable and pose serious potential health and environmental risks. We thank these forward-thinking retailers for their leadership and for listening to consumers.”
The genetically engineered salmon was first sold into the Canadian market in June of 2017. It remains unlabeled and its sale locations are not disclosed, making it nearly impossible for consumers to make informed purchases.
In the wake of controversy over the U.S. approval, the U.S. instituted an import ban on genetically engineered salmon until labeling standards are established.
A full list of stores that have made commitments to not sell genetically engineered seafood and salmon and letters sent to companies by Friends of the Earth U.S., CBAN and allies, and a list of coalition partners are available at www.gefreeseafood.org and www.cban.ca/retailerstatements
For More Information: Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, (613) 8091103, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dana Perls, Friends of the Earth U.S. (925) 705-1074, email@example.com Erin Jensen, Friends of the Earth U.S., (202) 222-0722, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) brings together 16 groups to research, monitor and raise awareness about issues relating to genetic engineering in food and farming. CBAN members include farmer associations, environmental and social justice organizations, and regional coalitions of grassroots groups.
Friends of the Earth fights to create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, ensuring the food we eat and products we use are safe and sustainable, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.