The Progressive


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For Immediate Release
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OCA Calls for Boycott of Safeway's O Organics(tm) Brand

Safeway is a member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which has spent millions to defeat GMO labeling laws


The OCA today called on its million-plus network of consumers to boycott Safeway's O Organics(tm) brand until the supermarket chain withdraws from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and contributes financially to I-522, a GMO labeling initiative on the Nov. 5 ballot in Washington State.

"Companies like Safeway, that cozy up to corrupt industry lobby groups instead of supporting consumers' right to know, don't deserve our hard-earned dollars," said Ronnie Cummins, National Director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). "If Safeway wants a piece of the growing market for organic foods, the grocery chain needs to stop indirectly working to defeat GMO labeling laws."

The GMA donated over $2 million last year to kill California's Proposition 37, a citizens' initiative that would have required mandatory labeling of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), and recently gave $472,500 (twice the amount given by the next largest donor) to defeat a similar initiative, I-522 in Washington State. The GMA opposes, and defeats, state efforts to remove junk food and soda from school vending machines, and it aggressively fights any and all attempts to restrict junk food marketing to kids. The lobby giant even helped found the Alliance for American Advertising, "whose stated purpose was to defend the food industry's alleged First Amendment right to advertise to children."

"The GMA is a notoriously corrupt and well-funded junk food lobby group with a long history of undermining public health, endangering children and polluting the environment," said Cummins. "Safeway's continued membership in an organization hell bent on denying consumers the right to know what's in their food is unacceptable."

Safeway is on the OCA's list of "Traitor Brands" targeted for boycotts because of their indirect support of the No on 37 Campaign last year. Proposition 37 was a California ballot initiative that would have required mandatory labeling of GMOs. The opposition spent $46 million to defeat the measure, which was voted down by a mere 1 percent.

Safeway has also refused to join the over 4,400 other U.S. grocery stores that have committed to not selling genetically engineered (GE) Salmon, if approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"Nearly 95% of Americans oppose the sale of this potentially hazardous, untested fish in grocery stores," Cummins said. "Safeway should heed the call of the overwhelming majority of its own customers and commit to never stocking a single GE salmon on its shelves."

The OCA has launched a petition asking consumers to let Safeway know that they will boycott the company's O Organics(tm) brand until Safeway withdraws from the GMA and supports I-522.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit public interest organization, and the only organization in the U.S. focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 50 million consumers of organically and socially responsibly produced food and other products. OCA educates and advocates on behalf of organic consumers, engages consumers in marketplace pressure campaigns, and works to advance sound food and farming policy through grassroots lobbying. We address crucial issues around food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability, including pesticide use, and other food- and agriculture-related topics.