Originally published April 22 2015
50,000 Costco customers urge company to reject GM salmon
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) While popular food markets such as Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Kroger and Safeway have made it clear that they do not intend to sell genetically engineered fish, Costco remains silent on the matter. Their hesitation in declaring a voice when it comes to GM salmon has worried many who want to consume only wild-caught salmon instead of lab creations of the fish.(1)
The public's dissatisfaction with Costco's silence has become so heated that petitions and pledges have flourished. Most notable is the 50,000-signature goal that was set, and met, by Seattle, Washington's Community Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ). The group is dedicated to keeping only fresh, wild salmon in Costco and urging the mega store to avoid getting caught up in GMO madness.(1)
"They've been evading saying they will sell it," said Danielle Friedman, who is with CAGJ. In addition to obtaining signatures, CAGJ has also been involved in holding protests at the Seattle Costco in hopes of raising awareness about the issue and of course, getting the store to make the right decision.(1)
Several groups urging consumers to sign petitions, say no to GM salmonSumofUs.org, a group of workers and consumers focused on preventing large corporations from gaining total control of human rights, including the foods they consume, has also gone the petition route. This particular pledge is called "Costco: Pledge not to sell GMO salmon" and features an image of a cartoon-like salmon with three eyes, a Costco tag attached to its side. As of this writing, they were approximately 2,000 signatures shy of their 50,000 goal.(2,3)
Another website involved in taking up this important cause is Change.org, which is requesting people petition against the possibility of Costco selling Franken-salmon. That petition says, "Tell Costco CEO Craig Jelinek: Say NO to Genetically Modified Salmon!" The page informs people of the dangers of eating GMO foods, reminding them that it's been linked to allergy risks and worse, greater risks of an increase in growth hormone associated with cancer.(4)
Change.org even includes a letter to Jelinek, strongly urging him to turn keep customer health top of mind. It states, in part:
Genetically modified AquaBounty salmon has not been adequately tested for human or environmental safety. In some tests, the fish were show to have a 40% higher chance of causing an allergic reaction in humans. The fish also have high levels of a growth hormone linked to cancer. Please stand up for your customers today by refusing to sell genetically modified salmon at Costco stores.(4)
Many who have signed the Change.org petition have elaborated on the issue, expressing their desire for Costco to keep GM salmon out of their stores.
People angered over Costco's silence: "Why add something this questionable?" For example, Bonnie Barnett of Prescott, Arizona, wrote, "Costco does a great job of providing more choices in healthy foods every year. Why add something this questionable?"(4)
Mary Johnson, another person who signed the petition, agrees with Barnett. Johnson, who is from Chehalis, Washington, was even more direct in her anti-GM salmon stance.
"The Pacific Salmon is having a hard enough time already without the possibility of these Genetically Modified beasts escaping their pens and competing with them for food," Johnson wrote on Change.org. "Please, we do not want to eat these fish, and we do not want them in our environment. GMO's are not the answer to hunger, they are merely a vehicle with which corporate farmers and biotech firms can make more and more and more money at the expense
of the people and the planet."(4)
It's obvious that the majority of people oppose GM foods and absolutely do not want lab monster fish in their stores. The question is, will Costco heed the health warnings linked to such foods and more importantly, consider the thousands of signatures and the wishes of its customer base?
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