CONSUMERS TARGET GROCERY STORES ACROSS AMERICA IN
PROTEST OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD
Consumers in over 100 Cities Leaflet and Protest
Outside Safeway, Shaw's, Publix, Food Lion, Food Emporium and Other
Leading Supermarket Chains
June 8, 2002
Today food activists in over 100 cities across the
U.S., including Boston, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles
and Minneapolis, protested in front of leading supermarket chains to
voice their concerns about genetically engineered foods. A new nationwide
alliance, the GE-Free Markets Coalition, and regional anti-GE food groups
organized the National Day of Action as part of a multi-year campaign
to get GE foods out of grocery stores. Similar supermarket campaigns
in Europe and Japan have forced GE foods off the market. Consumer and
environmental groups are demanding that Safeway and other leading supermarket
chains remove all GE food ingredients from their store brand products.
U.S. supermarket chains Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and Trader Joe's have
already responded to consumer pressure by pledging to remove GE ingredients
from their store brand products.
"We are here to put all major supermarkets on
notice that American consumers do not want to be guinea pigs in this
genetic experiment with our food," said Heather Whitehead of Greenpeace.
"If Whole Foods, Wild Oats and Trader Joe's can listen to their
customers and remove untested and unwanted GE ingredients, so can these
other leading supermarkets."
Activities ranged from in-store actions to handing
out flyers to a plane flying over a Publix supermarket in Sarasota,
Florida with a banner reading "Publix - Stop Gene-Altered Ingredients!"
This national supermarket campaign was launched in March by the member
groups of the GE-Free Markets Coalition, including Greenpeace, GE Free
LA, the Organic Consumers Association, NW Rage, Clean Water Action and
many more. The Coalition says it will continue to pressure the retailers
until they remove all GE ingredients from their store brand products.
"These supermarket chains need to decide whose
interests they represent- their customers' or the biotech
industry's," said Simon Harris of Organic Consumers Association.
"The American people have spoken - they don't want to eat GE foods."
Two recent national polls have shown that upwards of 90 percent of U.S.
consumers want GE foods labeled so that they can avoid them.
The coalition successfully targeted national retailer
Trader Joe's last year. In November of 2001, after more than a year
of pressure, Trader Joe's announced it would begin immediately to source
only non-GE ingredients for all its store brand products. Trader Joe's
has stores in 13 states and derives 85 percent of its profits from its
CONTACT: Heather Whitehead, Greenpeace, (415) 999-7404
mobile; Simon Harris, Organic Consumers Association (510) 435- 8412
The GE-Free Markets Coalition is a work group of the
Genetic Engineering Action Network. The Coalition members include: Clean
Water Action Greenpeace The Organic Consumers Association NW R.A.G.E.
(North West Resistance Against Genetic Engineering) Institute for Social
Ecology Biotechnology Project GE Free LA MASSPIRG Free the Planet! Florida
Alliance for Safe Foods Pure Food Partners SOS Food NY State Greens
Bay Rage People's Voluntary Labeling Brigade Sarasota County Green Party