Tag Archive: Aldi

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Costco and Red Lobster Say No to GMO Salmon

| November 25, 2015 9:21 am |

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) controversial approval of AquaBounty’s genetically modified (GMO) salmon has garnered further backlash from national grocery stores and restaurant chains.

Costco, the second largest retailer in the world with 487 stores and one of the largest retailers of salmon and seafood in the U.S., has made a firm commitment not to sell GMO salmon.


“Although the FDA has approved the sale of GM salmon, Costco has not sold and does not intend to sell GM salmon at this time,” the company said in a statement.

Costco’s move to reject GMO salmon comes after vehement opposition from anti-GMO activists.

According to a statement from Friends of the Earth, Walmart and Publix are among the last remaining large retail grocers in the U.S. that have not yet rejected GMO salmon.

“The market is rejecting GMO salmon. Stores won’t sell it and people don’t want to eat it,” said Friends of the Earth Campaigner Dana Perls. “Now other retailers like Walmart and restaurants need to follow suit, and we need mandatory GMO labeling so that consumers know how to avoid GMO salmon.”

More than 60 grocery store chains representing more than 9,000 stores across the U.S. have made commitments to not sell GMO salmon, including Safeway, Kroger, Target, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Aldi and many others.

The nation’s largest seafood restaurant is also denying GMO salmon. Red Lobster, with 705 North American locations and more than 40 internationally, told the Dallas Morning News that it would not sell GMO salmon last Friday.

Incidentally, consumers might not even know they’re eating GMO salmon. AquaBounty’s salmon, which is genetically altered to grow to market size in half the time of conventional salmon, will not require a GMO label under FDA guidelines.

It’s unclear if we’ll  ever see labels for genetically altered food, period—not just salmon. Currently, the hotly contested Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act—dubbed by opponents as the Denying Americans the Right to Know Act or DARK Actlanguishes in the Senate.

The act, H.R. 1599, which passed the House of Representatives in July, bans states from issuing mandatory labeling laws for foods containing GMOs. The bill gives the FDA the authority to establish national standards and regulations for GMO food. The Department of Agriculture would be granted full discretion over the law’s implementation.


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Food Safety


CDC: No Source Confirmed in Outbreak That Has Sickened 93

Sushi or sashimi suspected


by Mary Rothschild


Ninety-three illnesses linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly have been reported from 19 states and the District of Columbia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday, but CDC officials said a specific food has not been identified as the source of the infections.
However, many of those infected recalled eating sushi, sashimi or a raw dish such as ceviche, in the days before they became ill, according to the public health agency.

In an investigation report released Wednesday afternoon, the CDC revealed the states reporting illnesses: Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (4), District of Columbia (2), Georgia (4), Illinois (8), Louisiana (2), Maryland (8), Massachusetts (4), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (6), New York (23), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (4), South Carolina (3), Texas (3), Virginia (5) and Wisconsin (8).

The CDC’s message follows an internal U.S. Food and Drug Administration email on the outbreak investigation that was inadvertently circulated beyond the agency. That emailed summary did not list all the affected states.

And although the FDA email said investigators were looking at sushi as a possible source of the illnesses, and singled out spicy tuna roll sushi as “highly suspect,” the CDC said no food item has been conclusively identified.


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Iowa Leaders Seek Congressional Hearing on Pink Slime Critics


by Helena Bottemiller


Congressman Steve King (R-IA) and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad are pushing for a congressional probe into what many in the meat industry are calling a “smear campaign” against Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), a formerly obscure component commonly used in ground beef now known to the public as “pink slime.”

King has asked Frank Lucas (R-OK), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee to host a hearing that would bring in witnesses to testify on the media firestorm and consumer backlash over the product, which has led to three plant suspensions and sidelined 650 workers in Texas, Kansas, and Iowa — including some 200 workers in King’s district.

“Witnesses would be under oath and they’re of course obligated by law to tell the truth, those who have been the ones who have perpetrated this smear campaign against one of the stellar companies in the country,” King recently told an Iowa radio station. “I think they’ll have an obligation then to explain themselves why they could not base their allegations on facts and what they’ve done to damage an industry.”

The congressman said he believes the campaign is also an “assault” on meat. “I’d like to look at that further,” he said. “Right now, I’m focused on helping BPI get their brand back and their market share back.”


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BPA is FDA’s Latest Gift to Food Industry


By Michele Simon


In a long-awaited decision, last week the Food and Drug Administration disappointed health advocates once again by allowing Bisphenol A or BPA, a known endocrine disruptor, to remain approved as a chemical additive in food containers such as plastic bottles and metal cans.While the agency says it’s still studying the matter, a number of groups say the science is clear enough. Indeed, in the four years since the filing of a legal petition asking for a ban (a court order was needed to force FDA to respond), evidence of potential harm from BPA exposure has only increased. Of particular concern are young children, as the chemical often lines infant formula containers and baby bottles. Ironically, some of the more alarming research is funded by the federal government. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is spending $30 million to study BPA, with much of it published already and more to come. Not surprisingly, the chemical industry claims the additive is perfectly safe.

But with the scientific studies piling up to show how BPA increases the risk of everything from cancer to heart disease to fertility problems, and more recently, even obesity, this latest industry-friendly move by FDA is especially troubling. Meanwhile, without a hint of irony, FDA also maintains several web pages with helpful information for parents and others wishing to avoid BPA, such as: “What You Can Do to Minimize Your Infant’s Exposure to BPA.”

So if FDA admits the chemical is scary enough to avoid and previous independent scientific advisory panels have derided the agency for ignoring the mounting evidence, why did the agency back down yet again?…..


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Tomme d’Or Cheeses Recalled in British Columbia


By News Desk


The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is warning the public not to eat Tomme d’Or cheese made by Moonstruck Organic Cheese on Saltspring Island because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.Currently there are no illnesses linked to…


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Articles of Interest


Lawsuit Claims Some Store ‘Honey’ Brands Are Deceptive


by Gretchen Goetz


A series of class action lawsuits has been filed in Florida against major food retailers who allegedly sell honey that may not be “honey” because it does not contain pollen.

Five Florida residents are bringing suits against four different grocery chains – Publix Super Markets, Inc., Target Corporation, Walgreen Co. and Aldi, Inc. – that all reportedly carry ultra-filtered honey under their own house brands.

Ultra-filtration is a special process by which honey is heated and then forced through tiny filters that don’t let pollen through. This process is different from traditional honey filtration, which uses bigger filters and is designed only to weed out visible contaminants such as bee parts, wax and debris.

In removing the pollen from honey, ultra-filtration essentially removes its footprint. The resulting product cannot be traced back to its source to determine whether it came from a legitimate supplier or one with a reputation for adulterated products.

When Food Safety News investigated ultra-filtration last year, it found that over 3/4 of honey sold in U.S. grocery stores lacks pollen.

Florida is one of a handful of states that has set a honey standard dictating what qualities a product needs in order to be called honey. Anything labeled as “honey” must contain pollen, says the standard. This rule gives legal clout to those who want to see pollen-free honey labeled as something other than honey.

The same clout does not exist at the federal level, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to issue a set of standards for honey, despite demands from both industry and Congress that it do so.


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FDA Warning Letters: Update


by News Desk

From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning letters posted since our March 27, 2012 update:

– Prospect Enterprises of Los Angeles, CA was warned that a January/February 2012 inspection of the company’s seafood processing facility, American Fish & Seafood Company in Sacramento, CA revealed violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation so that its chilled, histamine-forming fish such as tuna, chilled, vacuum packaged Hamachi and tuna, as well as refrigerated ready-to-eat products such as vacuum packaged smoked salmon and trout, and pasteurized canned crabmeat, would be considered adulterated.

The FDA said the inspection also revealed deviations from the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulation for foods, including inadequate monitoring of cooler storage to control pathogen growth and toxin formation including Clostridium botulinum toxin.

– Plenus Group of Lowell, MA was warned that a February/March 2012 inspection of the company’s seafood processing facility revealed violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation so that its refrigerated clam chowder in reduced oxygen packaged bags would be considered adulterated.

– Meherrin Agricultural & Chemical of Severn, NC was warned that a November/December 2011 inspection of the company’s Hampton Farms Industrial peanut butter processing plant revealed violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulation for foods, such as using a band saw to cut the bottoms off customer-returned 18 oz. plastic jars of peanut butter.


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