Greenpeace Shuts Down Shaw's Markets Main Distribution Center

 

Media release - February 19, 2003
In a dramatic action to get Shaw's/Star markets to rid its store brand products of genetically engineered (GE) food, Greenpeace parked three buses in front of Shaw's main distribution center in order to block deliveries of GE food to Shaw's stores.

Activists Demand Shaw's Stop The Genetic Food Experiment

Methuen, MA, February 19, 2003 - In a dramatic action to get Shaw's/Star markets to rid its store brand products of genetically engineered (GE) food, Greenpeace parked three buses in front of Shaw's main distribution center in order to block deliveries of GE food to Shaw's stores. Six Greenpeace activists were locked to the buses, painted with the message, "Shaw's: Stop Genetically Engineered Food" and "The Genetic Experiment Ends Here." Today's lockdown comes after two years of widespread consumer activism across New England in what has become a growing movement against Shaw's continued use of GE food.

"Tens of thousands of Shaw's customers have demanded that their food no longer contain these genetic experiments, but Shaw's has ignored them," said Heather Whitehead, Campaigner with the Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Campaign. "Shaw's won't stop the flow of genetically engineered food to its stores, so Greenpeace activists will."

During today's blockade, Greenpeace sent representatives to Shaw's Headquarters in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts to request a meeting with Shaw's CEO, Paul Gannon. In December of last year, Greenpeace awarded Mr. Gannon with the "#1 Food Polluter in New England" plaque for the supermarket chain's continued use of GE food in its store brands. At the same time, over 200,000 consumer emails were sent to the company asking that they remove GE food.

Doctors and scientists warn that genetically engineered foods could trigger food allergies, have increased levels of toxins, or could hasten the spread of antibiotic resistance.

"It is astounding that Shaw's has not changed their stance on genetically engineered food," said Dr. Doreen Stabinsky, science advisor to Greenpeace. "Shaw's is playing Russian Roulette with the health and environment of its customers."

Genetic testing requested by Greenpeace found that four out of five of the tested Shaw's brand products contained genetically engineered ingredients: Shaw's Brand Crispy Corn Puffs Cereal, Shaw's Brand Yellow Corn chips, Shaw's Brand Complete Pancake and Waffle Mix, and Shaw's Brand Taco dinner. Shaw's parent company, UK- based J Sainsbury, has already stopped using GE ingredients in its food because of consumer demands.

Contact the Greenpeace media department.