Sea, Sea, My Playmate
More than 200 small grocers, restaurants, and seafood distributors in 40 U.S. states have announced that they will not buy, sell, or serve genetically altered fish. Among those joining the biotech boycott are such celebrity chefs as Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Michael Schenk at Oceana in New York City. Whole Foods Market, the world’s largest natural foods retailer, also signed on, but big seafood-restaurant chains such as Long John Silver and Red Lobster declined to join the boycott. The campaign, launched yesterday by the Center for Food Safety, Friends of the Earth, and Clean Water Action, is largely a preemptive strike, since there are currently no genetically engineered fish on the market. But one company, Aqua Bounty Farms in Waltham, Mass., has applied for FDA approval of bioengineered salmon. Environmentalists fear escaped GM fish could interbreed with wild species and taint their genetic makeup, prey on native species, or take over their food supplies and habitat.