New Nationwide Push to Keep GE Salmon Out of Waters, Off of Shelves

Food and environmental campaigners are determined to keep genetically-engineered (GE) salmon out of rivers and oceans and, at the very least, off of seafood retailers’ shelves.

To that end, people across the United States will mobilize this week to press the warehouse chain Costco Wholesale Corporation to publicly pledge that it will not sell genetically engineered salmon in its stores under any circumstances, even if they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Costco is being targeted because it is one of the last holdouts. Over 60 retail and grocery giants—from Target to Safeway to Kroger—already pledged in June not to sell the GE fish, in response to a sustained campaign from labor, community, and environmental groups. But Costco refused to make such a promise, despite the concern of the retailer’s members.

Jaydee Hanson, senior policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety (CFS), told Common Dreams that Costco’s management has not heard the last of these concerns: “What we are asking our members to do is to go to their local Costco store this week and ask to speak to store manager. We are asking them to give the store our letter, urging them to say no to GE salmon, and take a picture outside of the store holding a sign.”

Hanson said he expects large numbers of CFS members to turn out for the week of action.

This is not the first mobilization against the GE salmon, which were engineered by the biotech firm AquaBounty Technologies. According to the estimates of the CFS, nearly two million people have expressed their opposition to the approval to the FDA over threats to human and environmental health. Despite this mobilization, the FDA is still weighing whether to approve the GE salmon.

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