Publix named worst place to buy seafood
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06/18/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

The environmental group Greenpeace has just released a report on its evaluations of the seafood departments at 20 leading U.S. supermarkets. The results are mostly failing, with Florida based stores performing extremely low.

Kash N Karry ranked 14th, Sweetbay 15th, and dead last at 20th was Publix.

Leading the charts were Whole Foods, with Sam’s Club in third place, Wal-Mart fourth, and SuperTarget fifth.

Mark Flogel, a researcher with Greenpeace.org, said the key statistics Greenpeace uses to keep score are Sustainable Seafood Policy, Support for Sustainability Initiatives and the Labeling and Promotion of Sustainable Seafood.

Another statistic is the Number of Red List Seafoods for Sale. That includes orange ruffy, grouper, red snapper, swordfish and Chilean sea bass.

WMNF contacted Publix at its corporate headquarters in Lakeland, and received a press release in response. Spokesperson Shannon Patten writes, “ We have made it a practice not to respond to surveys. We do believe that sustainability is very broad, and not limited to one group or particular issue, one country or one region, one species or domestic vs. imported. Working with our various industry trade associations, we are constantly searching for the best options in order to provide quality and variety to meet our customers' demands while being good stewards of the environment.”

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National Fisheries Institute

You know, the real story here has little if anything to do with Publix. They are just a scapegoat for Greenpeace’s misguided sustainability campaign. If you read the Greenpeace report you will find that they ranked 20 U.S. grocery stores and ALL of them failed. The highest score was a 36.5 out of 100. Greenpeace has stacked the deck against grocery stores and tried to extort compliance with its own non-science based sustainability guidelines. A Greenpeace spokesman told the Washington Post, “"We're not recommending any species of fish to consumers.” What? Then why go though this exercise if they want people to simply stop eating seafood? Not to mention that their own guidelines are contradictory. In the U.S. Greenpeace says stores like Publix should remove Alaska Pollock but in Canada Greenpeace says its okay for stores to carry Alaska Pollock— news flash the Alaska Pollock in the U.S. and the Alaska Pollock in Canada come from the same place… Alaska. Same fish, different dinner table (granted one has a slightly French accent and loves hockey). Rather than add to a substantive discussion about seafood sustainability Greenpeace has confused consumers and the issue while unnecessarily beating up on grocery stores.