Over 60 U.S. supermarket chains have rejected the sell of laboratory fish, and now the second-largest retailer in the world has joined them.
The Federal Drug
Administration has approved the commercial sale of genetically modified
animals last week. Costco and more than 60 supermarket chains did not
take favor to this historic news, instead they are now refusing to sell
the product in their stores. Costco is the second largest retailer in
the world and has recently stated that they have not and will not sell
More than 18,000 people
mailed letters to Costco urging them to not sell the fish created by
AquaBounty Technologies. A collection of Costco customers, fishers, the
Community Alliance for Global Justice and other support groups rallied
outside the closest chain location to their headquarters in Washington
state. They presented more than 300,000 signatures from across the
nation which prompted Costco to say that they did not plan on selling
the GMO fish. The company has reassured their customers that they still
hold to that plan as the FDA has approved the sale of genetically
Costco joins the ranks of other chains that
have promised not to sell the GMO fish. These chains include Safeway,
Trader Joe’s, Kroger and Whole Foods.
The executive director of Community
Alliance for Global Justice, Heather Day, said in a statement, “Salmon
is too important for our diets, economy and
cultural heritage to accept anything made in a lab—we want the real
deal and applaud Costco for ensuring its customers that’s what they’ll
get when they shop there.”
Since the government does not require
GMO foods to be labeled the salmon will not be labeled. The FDA even
noted in its approval of AquAdvantage that they do not need to appoint
the product as a genetically modified product. Ron Stotish, CEO of AquaBounty, said that the fish will most likely be marketed as Atlantic Salmon.
There is no evidence that shows a health risk from eating the genetically modified salmon, but concern over crossbreeding has many worried about the wild salmon populations.
The fish are required to be raised within one of two land-based aquaculture systems located in Panama and Canada.
The only major grocery
chain that has not yet decided on the controversial fish is Walmart. If
they were to reject the GMO salmon there would be 5,000 fewer stores
that the fish could be sold in.