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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 Wednesday 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," Dana Perls, senior food and technology campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said. “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.
“Albertsons Companies and its family of stores, have no plans to carry GE salmon," Jonathan Mayes, Albertsons Companies senior vice president, said in a statement. "The seafood products we offer will continue to be selected consistent with our Responsible Seafood Policy and our partnership with FishWise."
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 more than 11,000 stores have now made commitments to not sell the GMO salmon, including Albertsons, Safeway, Costco, Kroger, Target, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, along with restaurant chains including Red Lobster and Legal Sea Foods.
Walmart, 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.
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