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Mar 21, 2019

Ask your supermarket to stock GMO salmon

The FDA recently removed the last obstacle to producing AquaBounty’s faster growing Atlantic salmon in the United States. Dr. Anastasia Bodnar of Biology Fortified covers benefits and allays concerns in “Fast-growing genetically engineered salmon approved”. Does this mean that we can look forward to seeing this salmon in our local supermarkets? Sadly no, at least not all of them.
salmon supermarket
“Size comparison of an AquAdvantage® Salmon (background) vs. a non-transgenic Atlantic salmon sibling (foreground) of the same age (~12 months). Both fish reach the same size at maturity, however, the smaller non-transgenic salmon will take twice as long to grow to the same mature size. The AquAdvantage Salmon uses 25% less feed than a non-transgenic Atlantic salmon to reach market weight.” Image via AquaBounty, used with permission.

Misinformation spreads to the supermarket

Anti-GMO misinformation was turned up to 11 a few years ago, with initiatives and referendums in many US states to restrict farming or sale of GMOs. People even participated in anti-GMO marches. If you don’t recall, no worries. Unprompted GMO issues are not on most folks’ radar. I mention these actions because it was well after that point when some supermarket chains made the bold decision to jump on the bandwagon of a waning movement with somewhat tepid statements. Trader Joe’s, Costco, Whole Foods, Kroger, Target, and several other U.S. food retailers indicated that they had no plans to carry GE Salmon. Walmart was even later to the party, according to an e-mail from an activist group. Now, with the salmon actually able to go into production, it might be a good time to write, e-mail, or message these companies and ask them to include it in their plans. It also couldn’t hurt to notify your local grocer that you’d like them to carry this fish as well. To spark ideas, I’ll share the template I’m using in drafting my own letters. Feel free to use all, parts, or none of it, if you decide to write to some of these grocers.  Read the article.

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