No Label, No Buy!
By Rich Bindell
At some point today, you’ll probably make a seemingly mundane choice that you make every day, without even thinking about it. Maybe you’ll choose to drink decaffeinated coffee (to avoid caffeine) or pick a movie for your family to watch this weekend (R-rated movies might not be appropriate for your seven year old). That choice likely involves collecting information before making your decision. But what if some of that information wasn’t available? If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves genetically engineered (GE) salmon as the first GE food animal to enter the marketplace, it will likely be without a label, forcing you to either risk buying a genetically engineered salmon or give up salmon completely. Thanks to the Campaign for GE-Free Seafood, consumers can start to look for stores who promise to not to sell GE salmon.
Food & Water Watch joined forces with Friends of the Earth—and a coalition thirty groups-strong—to kick off the Campaign for GE-Free Seafood. Today, we submitted a letter to the nation’s top grocery stores, asking them to honor an important commitment to their customers: promise not to sell GE seafood and make it their company policy to not knowingly purchase or sell GE seafood. Many stores have already agreed to sign-on to this promise, including Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Marsh Supermarkets, Aldi, and PCC Natural Markets!
The Campaign for GE-Free Seafood coalition includes consumer, food safety, fishing, environmental, sustainable agriculture, parent, public health and animal health and welfare organizations, representing millions of members across the nation who demand that GE salmon be labeled so that consumers can identify it and avoid it. Having a GE label is critical for consumers, especially considering that polls show that 91 percent of them do not want the FDA to approve GE salmon.
The FDA has already said that GE salmon would likely not require labeling, so it could be impossible to tell if the salmon we buy at the market is genetically engineered. Hopefully more stores will join this list and help their customers know what they’re buying. And in the meantime, tell the FDA to reject GE salmon.