In a dramatic sign of the growing wariness about genetically modified food, some of the nation’s largest grocers, including Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, announced Wednesday they will not sell a type of salmon engineered by a biotech firm.
The announcement comes as the Food and Drug Administration is expected in the coming months to give the go-ahead to the modified salmon, the first such animal approved for widespread human consumption. The announcement is likely to add momentum to the national movement to label or even eliminate genetically modified foods.
“Stores see the writing on the wall — Americans don’t want to touch this fish,” said Eric Hoffman, food and technology policy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, the environmental organization collecting the grocery store pledges. “The tipping point is coming soon.”
Home to a cuisine culture that pioneered the organic food movement, along with a strong environmental consciousness, the San Francisco Bay Area has been a key hub for much of the debate over genetically modified foods. Proposition 37, which proposed labeling genetically modified foods and which received a majority of the vote in most Bay Area counties, ignited the discussion and, despite its failure in the November election, inspired similar proposals in other states.
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