Every little bit helps

By Lisa Baertlein

March 20 (Reuters) – Whole Foods Market Inc, Trader Joe’s and other food retailers representing more than 2,000 U.S. stores have vowed not to sell genetically engineered seafood if it is approved in the United States, a new advocacy group said on Wednesday.

The announcement from the Campaign for Genetically Engineered-Free Seafood comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration appears close to approving genetically engineered salmon from Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies.

If it gets final approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the salmon would be the first genetically engineered animal to enter this country’s human food supply. The United States already is the world’s largest market for foods made with genetically altered plant ingredients.

AquaBounty says its “AquAdvantage Salmon” can grow to market size in half the time of conventional salmon, saving time and resources. The fish is essentially Atlantic salmon with a Pacific salmon gene for faster growth and a gene from the eel-like ocean pout that promotes year-round growth.

Critics say such genetically modified products are not sufficiently tested for safety, carry allergy risks and should be labeled. Proponents disagree and say the products are safe.

Discount grocer Aldi, regional chains such as Marsh Supermarkets, PCC Natural Markets and co-ops in Minnesota, New York, California and Kansas also signed the commitment to avoid selling genetically-engineered fish.

“We won’t sell genetically engineered fish because we don’t believe it is sustainable or healthy,” said Trudy Bialic from PCC Natural Markets in Washington State.

Many popular processed foods – including soy milk, soup and breakfast cereal – sold in the United States are made with soybeans, corn and other biotech crops whose genetic traits have been manipulated, often to make them resistant to insects and pesticides.

Whole Foods, a 335-store organic and natural food supermarket chain, earlier this month said it will require all products sold in its U.S. and Canadian stores to carry a label by 2018 saying whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

At the same time, consumer groups are working at the state and federal level to require labels on products that contain GMOs.

Dozens of countries already have genetically modified food labeling requirements, with the European Union imposing mandatory labeling in 1997. Since then, genetically modified products and crops have virtually disappeared from many of those markets.

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While I appreciate the gesture…

Shouldn’t we really be advocating a Meatless Life?

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They need it for life, you don’t

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You can SAY animal abuse doesn’t happen, but it doesn’t change the facts

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A shared philosophy from The Thinking Vegan

Shamelessly stolen from The Thinking Vegan, but I had too, because I agree 1 quadzillion percent.

My agenda is not hidden. In fact, I think I’m pretty clear about it; stop eating and using animals. And no, I’m not like those religious people because I don’t care about what you believe. I don’t care that you believe that god put animals on earth to be force bred, genetically manipulated, mutilated, tortured and murdered, to live a miserable life in a factory. What I do care about is your actions. Believe what you like but stop participating in the exploitation of individuals. Until everyone falls in line with my agenda, I will continue to fight for animal liberation no matter how unpopular I become.

The REAL way pigs should live

the real way pigs should live

The next time the Ringling Bros. come knocking, remember this

The only beings that the circus is ever “fun” for, are those who profit from the abuse of animals made to do unnatural things in exchange for occasional food and water, small, inadequate cages, and continual abuse. Is that the kind of place you want to visit and/or take your kids?

quitting the circus

Our next evolutionary (hmm, and revolutionary) step

the next revolutionary step

USDA set to approve full-time horse slaughter in New Mexico plant

Isn’t there enough senseless slaughter of innocent sentient beings already in this country without adding the slaughter of horses? Slaughtering horses for their meat is despicable, unnecessary, and a huge black eye for America. This atrocity must be stopped before it officially begins again in April.

From The Huffington Post:

A proposed horse slaughterhouse in New Mexico is just weeks away from opening, according to A. Blair Dunn, a lawyer for Valley Meat Co. in Roswell. Rick De Los Santos, the General Manager for the meat company, has told The Huffington Post that he expects the plant to open around April 29, upon receiving approval from the USDA.

“Everything we’ve heard is that everything is a ‘go’ and that it should be okay,” De Los Santos said. After the plant is approved, the company plans to wait a week or two before beginning to slaughter horses.

De Los Santos has already experienced delays in getting approval for his plant, not to mention a vocal resistance to his business. In conversation with The Huffington Post, De Los Santos referred to “countless” threatening phone calls, some serious enough to involve the sheriff department. But De Los Santos maintains that there is nothing that can legally stop his company from opening a horse slaughterhouse.

Several advocacy groups oppose the opening of the plant. In an email statement to The Huffington Post, Keith Dane, director of equine protection for The Humane Society of the United States, argued that there are several issues at stake:

In addition to our objections to the inhumane nature of the slaughter pipeline, we remain concerned about food-safety issues. American horses are routinely given hundreds of drugs and other substances, both legal and illegal, over their lifetimes that can be toxic to humans if ingested. We strongly support newly introduced federal legislation, SAFE (Safeguard American Food Exports), that will ban the slaughter of American horses and protect consumers and the reputation of all USDA-inspected meat.

In 2007, Congress approved a bill that blocked the USDA from financing the inspection of horse meat. Since horse slaughterhouses cannot operate without USDA inspections, the measure effectively banned the facilities. The bill lapsed in 2011.

In the effort to stop the New Mexico slaughterhouse from opening, four members of Congress introduced legislation this week (referenced in the Humane Society statement) designed to prohibit transporting horses outside the country for slaughter.

The legislation would block the New Mexico slaughterhouse, as it plans to sell its meat to customers in non-U.S. markets. No product would stay in the U.S., explained De Los Santos.

De Los Santos doesn’t foresee something like the Europe horse meat scandal happening in the U.S. though — he’s at least being forthright about the kind of meat he wants to slaughter. He may not be making any friends on the animal rights side, but he doesn’t have huge issues about the meat itself. “Protein is protein,” he said.