The Organic Consumers Association contacted 17 national and regional food retail chains to find out if they would stock genetically engineered (GE) salmon if the FDA approves it. We heard back from only seven of them. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) gave us a non-response. Safeway told us they don’t carry GMOs, though we know they do. Aldi answered a question, just not the question we asked. Publix gave us a wishy-washy “we have no plans at this time to carry GE salmon.” Only two - Whole Foods and Target - said definitively that they would NOT carry GE salmon. IGA deflected, saying that all its stores are locally owned and operated, and make their own buying decisions.
See the list of retail chains we contacted and read the responses. Then TAKE ACTION! Tell your food retailer that you will not shop in their stores if they sell AquaBounty Technologies Inc.’s GE AquaAdvantage Salmon! Sign the letter or call their customer service lines.
Response. Sue K., an Aldi customer service representative wrote: “We have received your inquiry regarding genetically modified foods. At this time we do not have a list of non-GMO products. If there is a specific product that you are concerned with, please email us the UPC code, and we would be happy to forward your inquiry to the appropriate supplier. ALDI will continue to monitor this matter and, as the U.S. food industry and our customer needs evolve, so will ALDI.” Um. That’s nice, but we didn’t ask for a list of non-GMO foods. We asked if Aldi would sell GE salmon to its customers. Oh well.
Call: 1- 630-879-8100
Operates Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food, Harvey’s Supermarkets, Reid’s, Hannaford Bros. and Sweetbay Supermarkets
•Food Lion: 1-800-210-9569
•Bottom Dollar: 1-866-685-1180
•Harvey’s Supermarkets: 1-866-652-6090
•Sweetbay Supermarkets: 813-620-1139
Operates Baker's, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Foods Co., Fred Meyer, Fry's Food and Drug, Gerbes, JayC Food Stores, King Soopers, Owen's Market, Pay Less Food Markets, Quality Food Centers, Ralphs, Scott's Food & Pharmacy, and Smith's Food and Drug
Response: Teena Massingill from the Safeway Public Affairs Dept. told us that Safeway does not sell genetically modified products, and that all buyers must confirm to the best of their knowledge that their products do not contain GMOs. Really? We’re not sure where Teena got her information, but we do know for a fact that Safeway carries many many products that contain GMOs.
Call Teena: 925-467-3000
Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P)
Response: From Joanne Fischetti, Communications Manager, a refusal to communicate: “Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, we are unable to participate in your interview request. Best regards, Joanne”
Call Joanne: (201) 571-8312
Operates: Save-A-Lot, Acme Markets, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw’s, Shop ‘n Save, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, and Star Market.
Response: “In 2010, Target eliminated farmed salmon in favor of wild-caught salmon, which was the first step in a long-term commitment to improving the sustainability of our seafood assortment. We also partnered with FishWise, a nonprofit organization that works with seafood companies to implement environmentally responsible business practices, to move toward sustainable seafood. Our commitment to 100 percent sustainable seafood was announced in 2011, and we included this goal in our 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report so that our guests can follow our progress.” Go Target!
Call: 1-800-440-0680 (Tell them thanks!)
Whole Foods Market
Response: Beth Krauss, National Media Relations Manager for Whole Foods, said, no, Whole Foods will not carry GE salmon. She wrote: “Whole Foods Market’s Quality Standards for farmed seafood prohibit the use of genetically modified animals. More information is available here. OK, We’re going to hold you to it!
Call Beth: (512) 542-0380. Tell her thanks!
Response: Maria Brous in the Publix media relations department wrote: “ At this time, we do not have plans to carry GE salmon.” She added that if they were to carry it, they “would be transparent with our cutomers in order for each customer to make the appropriate buying decision for him/her and their families.” A politically correct response, but “at this time, we have no plans” isn’t terribly reassuring.
Call Maria Brous: 863-688-1188 ex 55339
Operates Winn-Dixie Stores
Response: Ashley Page, from the marketing dept. of IGA told us that each IGA store is locally owned and operated, and thus make their own buying/selling decisions.
BJ’s Wholesale Club
Call: 800-BJS-CLUB (800-257-2582)