Safeway and Concerned Customers Disagree About
These comments were exchanged between a customer
concerned about Safeway's GE foods and a Safeway Customer Service
Customer's Initial Comments: I am learning
about Genetically Enginered Food and I am concerned about their effects
on our health, family farms, and� enviornment.�
I want to see genetically engineered food removed from� our supermarket shelves and urge you to take
immediate steps towards� this
goal.� To renew my confidence in your stores you could
start by� making all the products
bearing the safeway label free of genetically�
enginered ingredients, as almost all of Europes
supermarkets have done.
I would also appreciate effort to
increase the number of products that do not contain genetically enginered
foods and are labled as such in� your
stores.� I use to be a Safeway shopper and based on my
knowledge� now I have stopped
going to Safeway along with my friends and family.��
Please make the effort to address this issue so that we can
start going to Safeway again.
Safeway Customer Service Representative's
Dear Ms. XXXXX:
We received your e-mail voicing
concerns with the selling of genetically modified foods.
We actively support our customers' interests in food safety.
We also believe consumers have a right to relevant information about
the food� they buy, so they
can make informed purchasing decisions. However, as a retailer,
we are neither qualified nor entitled to determine food regulations
and labeling requirements. That responsibility properly� lies with the governmental agencies established
for those purposes.
As you may know, biotechnology is
an umbrella term covering a vast variety of processes for using living
organisms (such as plants,� animals and microbes) or any part of these organisms
to create new or improved products.�
Understandably, the goal of biotechnology is to provide a less
expensive and more nutritious food supply. Biotechnology is often
divided into old and new varieties.�
The older forms include plant and animal�
breeding and fermentation, which are based on the use of whole
living� organisms.� The
newer biotechnology's use parts of living organisms,� manipulating the chromosomes or DNA strands,
or the genetic sequences that control specific traits, which is where
the term genetic modification term comes into play.
Please realize that as a retailer,
we have no influence over the methods used by product manufacturers
and growers to produce the food� we offer for sale.� It is consumer demand that determines the products�
we carry.� We rely on academic and regulatory agencies
to determine� which products
and processes are safe.� The
USDA and the FDA require� regulatory
review of all food developed by biotechnology. Consumer�
safety is the paramount consideration of all their efforts
in this� area.� If
you have not expressed your views to the FDA, we encourage� you to do so.
If you have any additional concerns
or questions please feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or contact our customer service� center
at 1-877-723-3929 and one of our associates will be happy to�
assist you.� When you
call or write, please use reference number�
XXXXX so that we can access your account.
Thank you for continuing to shop
at Safeway .
Sherry Mariscal Customer Service
Customer's Final Response:
Dr. Ms. Mariscal
I was surprised by your response.� You must think that I am not a logical� human being and therefore you can send me a
response that does not address� my
question and at the same time portrays an untrue image of what Safeway� can do to change their stance on GMO foods.
My email was regarding your own "Safeway"
brand and the expansion of non GMO� foods
supplied by Safeway.� Both of
these items Safeway has complete control�
over.� It is your choice what you put on your shelves,
not the governments.�� All Safeway
has to do is say - "We won't accept GMO foods in our stores".��
It is blatantly untrue that you cannot change your own brand
to be GMO free� or that you cannot demand your suppliers provide
you with non GMO food.
When supermarkets and food producers in Europe were
first challenged by� consumers
to eliminate or label GE foods, the biotech and food industries�
responded that doing so would take years and years and would
lead to higher� food prices. However,
as consumer pressure mounted, a few companies�
These companies, like Iceland Foods (one of the largest
grocers in Britain)� and Kraft
Jacobs Suchard (the European branch of Kraft Foods) told suppliers� that they would no longer accept GE ingredients
for their products. Soon more and more companies followed
suit, and in less than three years nearly�
every major grocer and food producer in Europe had eliminated
GE food -- and� even with GE labeling laws in place, food costs
to consumers did not go up� at
I have forwarded your email response on to Mr. Steven
A. Burd, CEO, Safeway,� Inc. for
a response and will look for a response by you to my original� question regarding Safeway changing their own
"Safeway" brand to non GMO and�
not accepting GMO products from your suppliers.� I would appreciate a� response to my question and not rhetoric regarding
the government and your� non involvement
in the food that you supply.
I have stopped shopping at Safeway as have all of my
friends, family and co� workers.� Each of them have sent emails and discussed
with all of their� friends and
associates the issue of Safeway and your unwillingness to change� your own brand to non GMO and not accept GMO
foods in your stores.� I truly� hope that the management of Safeway will change
it stance and take the� responsibility
that is yours of ensuring the quality of the food that is
sold in your stores.� Until
that time we will not be shopping at Safeway.