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article imageGMO salmon will be hard to find — Retailers refuse to sell them

By Karen Graham     May 25, 2016 in Food
Following Canada's approval of GMO salmon on May 20, Friends of the Earth U.S. along with a coalition of groups against GMO salmon released an updated list of more than 80 retailers refusing to sell the product.
"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.”
The 80 grocery retailers account for over 11,000 stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, Costco, Kroger, Target, Trader Joe’s, Aldi and Whole Foods, along with restaurant chains including Red Lobster and Legal Sea Foods. - See more at: Friends of the Earth.
Nearly 75 percent of consumers answering a New York Times poll said they were against eating genetically engineered fish while 93 percent wanted GMO foods labeled. Additional polls show that 80 percent of Americans who regularly eat fish say that sustainable fisheries practices are "important" or "very important" to them.
Additionally, over two million people wrote to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opposing the agency's approval of AquaBounty's genetically engineered salmon. But, despite the polls and letters, as well as numerous studies that showed the environmental and health risks of GMO salmon, including possible irreversible damage to wild salmon populations, the FDA went ahead and approved their sale in the U.S.
There are now about 35 species of genetically engineered fish in development today, and the chance of them being approved has been strengthened by the fact that the U.S. and Canada have approved the AquaBounty GMO salmon, setting a historic precedent. This may be our undoing, though because we really don't have enough good information to make a judgment on the safety of genetically altered and engineered food.
In the U.S., the FDA has blocked the importation of AquaBounty's salmon until labeling issues are resolved. Enough of a stink was raised by various consumer groups demanding that GMO salmon be labeled as such that the agency had to reverse itself on the labeling issue.
So while Canadians will have to get by without knowing if they are eating GMO salmon or the real thing, at least the fish won't be in American stores for a little longer. EcoWatch is reporting that the Provincial Fisheries Minister of Nova Scotia announced the province will ban the farming of GMO fish, and that is a good start.
More about Gmo salmon, retailers say no, consumers questions, labeling standards, Food safety
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