Greenpeace Rates Grocers on Seafood; Industry Groups Cry Foul

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Greenpeace Rates Grocers on Seafood; Industry Groups Cry Foul

On the heels of a just-released seafood sustainability report by Greenpeace alleging "most U.S. supermarkets are ignoring scientific warnings about the crisis facing global fisheries and the marine environment when they stock their shelves with seafood," two seafood industry trade groups are calling the findings fishy, and are warning grocery stores to be prepared for further direct action by Greenpeace activists.

According to a statement issued by the National Fisheries Institute, the report "is riddled with erroneous information and alarmist language...[and] is merely another example of Greenpeace's failure to responsibly engage the seafood community in a constructive dialog about sustainability. As such, NFI is urging retailers that may hear from media and or customers to monitor its media blog - available on -- for the very latest."

The 67-page Greenpeace report, NFI said, "repeats old erroneous activist rhetoric about the oceans being empty in 40 years."

Titled "Carting Away the Oceans: How Grocery Stores are Emptying the Seas," the Greenpeace report ranked 20 leading U.S. supermarket chains on how their seafood purchasing practices and policies align with goal of seafood sustainability, using a 10-point rating system for factors such as procurement policies, support for sustainability initiatives, labeling, and transparency, and how many "Red List" products - what Greenpeace calls 22 of the world's most destructively fished and farmed species -- they sell. The Greenpeace ranking was:
1.Whole Foods Market, with 4 points
2. Ahold USA, 4
3. Harris Teeter, 4
4. Wegmans, 3
5. Wal-Mart, 3
6. Target, 3
7. Safeway, 2
8. Aldi, 2
9. Kroger, 2
10. Costco, 2
11. Giant Eagle, 1
12. Winn-Dixie, 1
13. A&P, 1
14. Delhaize, 1
15. Supervalu, 1
16. Trader Joe's, 1
17. Meijer, 1
18. H.E. Butt, 1
19. Price Chopper, 1
20. Publix, 1

The farm-raised salmon industry trade group, Salmon of the Americas Inc. (SOTA), which represents U.S., Chilean, and Canadian salmon farming companies, also blasted the report for "misleading the public away from healthy protein alternatives."

SOTA urged consumers to "be aware that Greenpeace wants to force retailers to remove a majority of their seafood from the counters for wrong reasons, alleging the unsustainability of the industry."