Costco Refuses to Sell GMO Salmon in Its 474 Warehouse Stores

Costco Refuses to Sell GMO Salmon in its 474 Warehouse Stores

Costco has joined the ranks of over 60 supermarkets that refuse to sell GMO salmon.

After the FDA recently approved the sale of GMO salmon, many consumers were worried that the fish would soon grace the aisles of their grocery stores—a worry triggered by the fact that the FDA doesn’t require GMO producers to label their goods, and the company producing the GMO salmon has stated that they intend to label their product Atlantic salmon.

Costco’s refusal to sell the salmon comes after over 18,000 people sent letters to Costco urging them to do so. Costco currently has 474 warehouse stores in the US and is the largest warehouse store in the world; it is the second-largest US retailer after Walmart.

“We are asking Costco to stand behind the science, be a true leader in seafood sustainability and listen to the majority of consumers who do not want to eat genetically engineered fish,” said Dana Perls, food and technology policy campaigner with Friends of the Earth in a news release.

Costco’s statement, released last week, said that the retailer doesn’t intend to sell the newly approved salmon at this time. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Target, Safeway and Kroger are some of the other retailers that have promised not to sell the salmon. Restaurants such as Legal Sea Foods have also expressed an intent not to sell the GMO salmon when it becomes available.

The salmon, called AquAdvantage salmon, will be produced by AquaBounty Technologies. The company has been developing the product for nearly 20 years by genetically splicing Atlantic and Chinook salmon, as well as a few other fish types, in order to create a salmon that grows faster than wild salmon.

Now that the salmon is approved, the company needs to raise enough to stock supermarkets and restaurants. The GMO salmon is slated to be available for sale in early 2016.

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Costco store image via Shutterstock

Emily Monaco is a food and culture writer based in Paris. Her work has been featured in the Wall... More about Emily Monaco