Trader Joe's to Phase Out Chinese Imports

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
February 10, 2008

Trader Joe's will no longer carry foods imported from China in order to satisfy customer concerns about the quality and safety of the countryâ??s products.

The Monrovia, Calif., retail chain, which operates 285 stores in 23 states, will phase out single-ingredient Chinese imports by April 1, according to a report in today's edition of USA Today. Alison Mochizuki, a spokesperson for Trader Joe's, said the ban doesnâ??t include products with ingredients from China.

"Our customers have voiced their concerns about products from this region, and we have listened," Mochizuki said.

Trader Joe's wouldn't say what percentage of its single-ingredient items came from China.

Jeanne Colleluori, a spokeswoman for Wegmans Food Markets in Rochester, N.Y., told the newspaper that it dropped Chinese garlic last year because of consumer concerns, but sales of other Chinese products, such as frozen tilapia, have stayed strong.

"There are good suppliers and there are bad suppliers in any country," Colleluori said.

Chinaâ??'s aquaculture industry has been under fire since last June when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration slapped an import alert on five farmed-seafood species from China - shrimp, catfish, basa, eel and dace - due to the increased presence of banned antibiotics and fungicides.

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