As the first sale of genetically engineered fish is underway in Canada, the top food retailers across Canada and the United States have made public statements that they have no plans to sell the genetically engineered salmon.
Sobeys is the latest and last of Canada’s national retailers to inform customers that it will not be selling the genetically engineered Atlantic salmon.
Sobeys joins the two other top retailers Loblaw and Metro and the three together represent over 50 percent of the Canadian food retail market.
Overwaitea Food Group, along with regional retailers such as Federated Co-operatives Limited and Longo’s also will not sell genetically engineered salmon.
The Canadian stores join major North American chains Walmart, Costco and Whole Foods, as well as nearly 80 other U.S. retailers including Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Target and Aldi in making a commitment to not sell genetically engineered salmon.
“Now that some genetically engineered salmon is being sold in Canada unlabeled, it is vital that consumers have this information from their grocery stores,” said Lucy Sharratt, coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.
“People have a right to know where their food comes from and exactly what’s in it, so that they can make informed choices about what they eat,” said Dana Perls, senior campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S. "Shrouding this genetically engineered fish in secrecy is unfair to consumers, to say nothing of the fact that genetically engineered salmon are unsustainable and pose serious potential health and environmental risks. We thank these forward-thinking retailers for their leadership and for listening to consumers."
The genetically engineered salmon was first sold into the Canadian market in June. The fish remains unlabeled and its sale locations are not disclosed, making it nearly impossible for consumers to make informed purchases.
In the wake of controversy over the U.S. approval, the U.S. instituted an import ban on genetically engineered salmon until labeling standards are established.