Major Food Service Says No to Genetically Engineered Salmon

A major international food service, Aramark, has announced a commitment to not sell genetically engineered salmon. The announcement early this week came in the wake of AquaBounty Technologies announcing plans to sell its first ever harvest to the United States in the first quarter of 2021.

Aramark officials sad that avoiding potential impacts to wild salmon populations and indigenous communities, whose livelihoods are deeply connected to and often dependent upon this vital resource, is core to our company’s commitment to making a positive impact on people and the planet.

The decision makes Aramark the third major food service company committed to not selling GE salmon. There has been widespread market rejection of GE salmon already by Compass Group and Sodexo as well as many U.S. grocery retailers, seafood companies and restaurants.

The Federal District Court or the Northern District of California ruled in November that the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of AquaBounty Technologies’ genetically engineered salmon was issued unlawfully. The court concluded that FDA violated several core environmental laws in issuing the approval, including the Endangered Species Act. The court ruling currently does not prevent the sale of GE salmon in the United States, although plaintiffs have sought reconsideration of that decision.

Jaydee Hanson, policy director for Center for Food Safety, said it is crucial that companies like Aramark refuse to sell GE animals to wholesalers and consumers. The recent court decision on GE salmon makes clear that they are poorly regulated and do not have clear labeling.