A coalition of consumer, health, food safety and fishing groups, led by Friends of the Earth, launched the “Campaign for Genetically Engineered (GE)-Free Seafood” by announcing that several major grocery retailers representing more than 2,000 stores across the United States, including Whole Foods and Trader Joes, have committed not to sell genetically engineered seafood if it is allowed onto the market. Oryana has joined this list of stores and pledges not to sell GE fish.
The growing market rejection of GE fish comes as the FDA conducts its final review of a genetically engineered salmon. If approved, the salmon would be the first-ever genetically engineered animal allowed to enter the human food supply.
“We applaud these retailers for listening to the vast majority of their customers who want sustainable, natural seafood for their families. Now it’s time for other food retailers, including Walmart, Costco and Safeway, to follow suit and let their customers know they will not be selling unlabeled, poorly studied genetically engineered seafood,” said Eric Hoffman, food & technology policy campaigner with Friends of the Earth.
There are serious concerns about the safety of the first genetically engineered fish, a salmon engineered to grow to maturity twice as fast as wild salmon. FDA decided based on data from just six fish that there was no increased risk to people with fish allergies. However, even these meager data suggest that these fish show increased allergic potential," says Michael Hansen, PhD, senior scientist with Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.
Most Americans say they won’t eat genetically engineered seafood, and over 90% of Americans say the FDA should not allow it onto the market.
The FDA has stated it will likely not label genetically engineered salmon, providing consumers no way of knowing if the fish they are eating is genetically engineered. At least 35 other species of genetically engineered fish are currently under development, and the FDA’s decision on this genetically engineered salmon application will set a precedent for other genetically engineered fish and animals (including cows, chickens and pigs) to enter the global food market.
At Oryana, we are strongly opposed to the proliferation of genetically modified foods and believe that the use of GMOs contradicts our mission of providing high quality food grown in ecologically sound ways at fair value to member-owners and the community.
Our purchasing guidelines emphasize food grown organically and/or sustainably. Oryana is committed to giving members-shoppers a variety of seafood choices from suppliers that rely on well-managed, sustainable fishing and harvesting practices. When you buy seafood at Oryana, you can be assured that the seafood you purchase is harvested in healthy, environmentally friendly ways.