It’s time to take a stand and tell major U.S. supermarkets to boycott genetically engineered salmon commonly referred to as “Frankenfish.” Many major stores, including Target, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have already agreed to not sell the genetically engineered fish. The call is now going out to several other supermarkets, like Safeway to do the same.
The FDA is currently in the process of deciding whether or not the genetically modified salmon will be allowed on the market. If “Frankenfish” is approved, it could appear in stores as early as 2014 and would be the first genetically engineered animal determined safe for consumption. Several petitions online are calling for the ban of genetically modified salmon based on the potential personal and environmental harm the production and consumption of the fish could cause.
“Frankenfish” are engineered to grow to market size in just 16-18 months compared to the usual 30 months required. Due to this accelerated growth, the fish contain elevated levels of a growth hormone that has previously been linked to prostate, breast and colon cancers. Limited testing has also shown an increase in the salmon’s potential to cause allergies. There is also concern that “frankenfish” will overrun native fish populations. These are certainly major concerns if the modified salmon are allowed to be sold in stores, spurring online petitions and outcries. Safeway in particular has been in the hot seat for not making a statement against the sale of genetically modified salmon, though they have responded to some angry posts on their Facebook page.
“We are committed to providing our customers with seafood from wild and farmed sources that minimize harm to the ecosystems from which they were acquired. These long standing efforts have been consistently recognized by Greenpeace USA—over the last three years, we have been ranked #1 or #2 on the Greenpeace Retailer Scorecard. Over the last several weeks, we have been reviewing information about genetically engineered (GE) salmon provided by various stakeholders. Safeway does not carry genetically engineered salmon and the FDA has not yet approved GE salmon for sale. We do not have plans to sell GE salmon,” wrote a customer support representative.