NFI: Greenpeace to Re-launch 'Misinformation' Campaign


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
November 17, 2008

The National Fisheries Institute warned its members yesterday that Greenpeace will soon re-release a report ranking U.S. retailers according to their sustainable seafood purchasing policies.

Titled "Carting Away the Oceans: How Grocery Stores are Emptying the Seas," the report, originally released in June, gave all 20 retailers on the list received a failing grade. Supervalu, Trader Joe's, Meijer, H.E. Butt and Price Chopper were at the bottom of the list, while Whole Foods Market, Ahold USA, Harris Teeter, Wegmans, Wal-Mart and Target were at the top. (Greenpeace also released a similar report criticizing Canadian retailers in June.)

NFI said the report "failed to capture the attention of consumers or the cooperation of retailers" the first time around.

"Greenpeace has and continues to threaten U.S. grocery stores with 'direct action' if they do not comply with its demands," says NFI. "The group is prepared to shift from activism to vandalism if it does not get its way and already has in Canada."

Earlier this month, Greenpeace littered eight Toronto-area Loblaws stores with yellow crime scene tape and posters containing the message "caught red-handed selling red list fish."

Greenpeace says Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaws, Canada's largest supermarket chain, sells 14 of the 15 "red list" species it says are harvested or farmed in an unsustainable and environmentally destructive manner, including Atlantic cod, Atlantic salmon, Atlantic sea scallops, Chilean sea bass, haddock, swordfish and bigeye, bluefin and yellowfin tuna.

Last month, John Hocevar, oceans campaign director for Greenpeace-USA, confirmed that the eco-activist group is re-releasing its U.S. report in early December, but not every retailer will receive a failing grade this time around.

Hocevar said he expected Whole Foods' and Ahold USA's grades to improve, because since June Whole Foods has strengthened its farmed seafood purchasing criteria, and Stop & Shop and Giant Food, which are owned by Royal Ahold, has stopped selling three red list species (Chilean sea bass, orange roughy and shark).

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