Several supermarket chains have pledged not to sell what could become the first genetically modified animal to reach the nation's dinner plates — a salmon engineered to grow about twice as fast as normal.
The supermarkets — including Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's and Aldi —stated their policies in response to a campaign by consumer and environmental groups opposed to the fish. The groups are expected to announce the chains' policies on Wednesday. The supermarket chains have 2,000 stores in all, with 1,200 of them belonging to Aldi, which has outlets stretching from Kansas and Texas to the East Coast.
"Our current definition of sustainable seafood specifies the exclusion of genetically modified organisms," a spokeswoman for Aldi said in a statement that also said the policy might evolve over time. She said the company would not comment further.
The salmon is now awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration, which in December concluded that the fish would have "no significant impact" on the environment and would be as safe to eat as conventional salmon. The agency is accepting public comments on its findings until April 26.
Under existing F.D.A. policies, the salmon, if approved, would probably not be labeled as genetically engineered. The agency has said that use of genetic engineering per se does not change a food materially.
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