Back in March, several major retailers, including Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Aldi, as well as some smaller grocery sellers promised that no GE salmon would be sold in their stores. Since then, more retailers have come on board. Recently, Target announced that it, too, has pledged not to stock genetically engineered salmon in its stores.
Collectively, there are 59 retailers with a total of 4,662 stores that have now pledged to keep what some people call “Frankenfish” out of their stores, should the FDA approve it.
The specific salmon in question has been created by AquaBounty, and the company is waiting for FDA approval to sell it to the public. The salmon will be bred to be sterile, all-female populations so they can’t breed with each other or other types of fish should they escape (which the company says is not possible). They have the potential to reach market size in half the time of conventional salmon.
Since these fish are significantly altered from the non-genetically modified salmon, the concern is that there could be health problems associated with eating it. If the FDA does approve the GE salmon for sale, many consumers want the fish to be labeled, and as we’ve seen over the past few years, getting genetically engineered food labeled is no easy task.
But, it seems that as more people speak up about their concerns about all genetically modified food and demand that if it is allowed that it should be labeled so consumers know what’s in their food, retailers are beginning to listen. I’m sure that Target and the other retailers who pledged to not sell the GE salmon took their consumer’s wishes into consideration when making this decision.
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