A Statement From the Coalition Pressuring Walmart Not to Sell GE Sweet Corn
Washington, D.C. — In January, Food & Water Watch launched a campaign to pressure Walmart to refuse to sell Monsanto’s GE sweet corn. In coordination with CREDO Action, SumOfUs, Center for Food Safety, Center for Environmental Health, and Corporate Accountability International nearly 500,000 people signed petitions asking Walmart to refuse to stock Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) sweet corn, more than 150 events have taken place at Walmart stores across the country and over 8,500 people have called Walmart executives, store and regional managers, and Walmart’s customer service line.
Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch: “Walmart says it cares about customers’ safety and satisfaction but in response to the nearly half a million concerned citizens who asked Walma rt not to sell this unlabeled, untested and potentially unsafe GE sweet corn it only offered the glib statement that it ‘does not specifically source foods that have been genetically modified’ and it ‘follows all federal and state regulations.’
“It is well-known that the company routinely asks its suppliers to jump through rigorous hoops and agree to unfair terms in order to keep Walmart’s profit margins high. Walmart wields a lot of power over its suppliers and can easily get a commitment from them that their corn is not genetically engineered. If Walmart tells its suppliers that it does not want GE sweet corn, it would stop the product in its tracks.
“While the non-answer Walmart offers is misleading, it is clear in one definitive way. The company states that it ‘requires our suppliers to be in strict compliance with all labeling and disclosure laws,’ which, incidentally, don’t exist for GE foods. Therefore, it is clear that retailers like Walmart will continue to be unresponsive to consumers’ concerns around the risks of GE foods until the law forces them to be accountable.”