For Immediate Release:
November 14, 2001
Contact: Brett Doran (310) 392-7656
Virginia Hunter (323) 462-8552
Trader Joe’s to Phase out Genetically Engineered Food
GE Free LA praises decision of the specialty chain
Looks to rest of industry to follow suit
(Los Angeles) – Today Trader Joe’s announced that it would phase out genetically engineered food from its private label product line, which accounts for 85% of its product. In Response to the announcement, GE Free LA claimed victory to their 18-month campaign to convince the retailer to stop selling GE Foods. “This is a huge victory for consumers, the environment and organic farmers. Trader Joe’s is a billion dollar market and their decision to eliminate GE products will have a positive ripple effect throughout the industry,” stated Brett Doran, from GE Free LA.
GE Free LA kicked off the campaign in March of 2000 with a demonstration and GE food dump outside of the original Trader Joe’s store in South Pasadena. During the campaign, GE Free used a diversity of tactics including leafleting, public demonstrations, teach-ins, and street theater inside of Trader Joe’s to pressure the store.
GE Free LA also enlisted the help of the broad coalition of national and grassroots organizations including Greenpeace to help win the campaign. In September a broad national coalition of groups formed to pressure Trader Joe’s on a national scale now known as the GE Free Market Coalition. Groups in the coalition include: GE Free LA, Greenpeace, Northwest Resistance Against Genetic Engineering, Organic Consumers Association, NY Greens, GEAN, GeneWise, GE Free Marin, and the Safe Foods Campaign.
GE Free LA praised Trader Joe’s for its decision and thanked consumers for pressuring the store to do the right thing. "People like Trader Joe’s because of the company’s commitment to healthy food and organics. But customer’s spoke up when they realized that the store was selling genetically engineered food and Trader Joe’s heard their demand," stated Michelle Mascarenhas of GE Free LA.
GE Free LA plans to further work with the GE Free Market Coalition to eliminate the sale of GE foods from other major supermarket retailers.