Following a Mothers Day rally and an "UnSafeway" newspaper ad, Greenpeace and the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) were at Safeway's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders to voice their concerns about the company's continued use of genetically engineered ingredients in their Safeway brand products.
Groups Demand Safeway take Risky Genetically Engineered Ingredients out of Its Store Brand Products
San Ramon, California, May 16, 2002 - Following a Mothers Day rally on Friday in front of the Safeway headquarters and a Mother's Day "UnSafeway" newspaper ad on Sunday, Greenpeace and the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) were at Safeway's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders today to voice their concerns about the company's continued use of genetically engineered ingredients in their Safeway brand products.
"Genetically engineered foods are untested, unnecessary and unwanted," said Heather Whitehead, of the Greenpeace genetic engineering campaign. "If Safeway truly cares about its customers and its shareholders, it will live up to its name and stop doing business the Un-Safeway," added Whitehead, "Safeway needs to decide who they represent - their customers or the biotech industry."
Wearing "UnSafeway" t-shirts, the groups handed out flyers and postcards about the risks of genetically engineered foods, to the entering shareholders.Ý The group also held a large banner reading "The UnSafeway: Stop Genetically Engineered Food". In March 2002, Greenpeace tested Safeway Select brand Soy Infant Formula and Safeway Brand Popped Corn Cakes, both tested positive for having genetically engineered ingredients. The groups also sent a representative into the shareholders meeting on a proxy from concerned shareholders.
"Genetic engineering fundamentally alters nature by crossing the species barrier for the first time in history," said Simon Harris, of the Organic Consumers Association. "Safeway needs to do the right thing and stop the genetic experiment with our food."
Greenpeace and the Organic Consumers Association are both members of the GE-Free Markets Coalition, a coalition of consumer and environmental groups from all over the country. The Coalition is targeting Safeway and other grocery chains to force them to follow the lead of supermarkets in Europe, along with Whole foods, Wild Oats and, most recently, Trader Joe's, by removing GE foods from store brand products.