Costco Won’t Sell Genetically Engineered Salmon

Genetically engineered salmon recently received the stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration, but it might have a hard time reaching a lot of customers. Costco has joined the list of major food sellers who say they won’t offer the controversial product to customers.

“Although the FDA has approved the sale of GM [genetically modified] salmon, Costco has not sold and does not intend to sell GM salmon at this time,” a rep for the warehouse chain told the AP.

Nearly two years before AquAdvantage salmon — which is engineered to grow to market size faster than traditional farm-raised salmon — got the go-ahead from regulators, a number of retailers, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Aldi, were already saying they had no plans to sell the product. These retailers have since been joined by other, larger supermarkets, like Target and Kroger.

Because the FDA says that the AquAdvantage salmon is safe to consume and nutritionally the same as traditionally raised salmon, the product will not require any special labeling when it eventually hits store shelves.

Earlier this year, Costco, which purchases around 600,000 pounds of salmon each week, decided to cut back significantly on how much of the fish it imports from Chile over concerns that farmers there were using too many antibiotics to treat their salmon.