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Costco, Red Lobster: No GMO salmon

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on November 25, 2015 - 8:17pm

By: Lydia Wheeler

Wholesale retailer Costco and seafood chain Red Lobster publicly committed not to sell genetically engineered salmon, environmental groups announced Tuesday.

Friends of the Earth, a coalition of more than 30 consumer, health, food safety and fishing groups released the retailer’s statement, which said, “Although the FDA has approved the sale of GMO salmon, Costco has not sold and does not intend to sell GE salmon at this time.”

The action comes just days after the Food and Drug Administration approved as safe to eat a salmon that’s genetically engineered to grow to market size faster than its farm-raised counterpart. AquAdvantage salmon, a product of AquaBounty Technologies, will be raised in land-based, contained hatchery tanks in two specific facilities in Canada and Panama.

Groups have been urging Costco for months to publicly reject the salmon before it was even approved by the FDA.

“The market is rejecting GMO salmon. Stores won’t sell it and people don’t want to eat it,” Dana Perls, food and technology policy campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said in a release. “Now other retailers like Walmart and restaurants need to follow suit, and we need mandatory GMO labeling so that consumers know how to avoid GMO salmon.”

The groups said Red Lobster also made a similar commitment this week. Erica Ettori, a spokeswoman for the seafood specialty restaurant chain, said customers have yet to ask about the AquAdvantage salmon because it’s brand-new and that it was too early to speculate on whether the restaurant will carry the fish in the future.

“That said, we do not currently serve and have no plans to serve genetically-modified seafood,” she said. 

Originally Published: The Hill

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