Thursday, 26 July 2012

Day 18, Shrimp Antibiotic Cocktail, Letter to Costco

When I met some Thai fishermen, hearty people who sprinkled MSG on their food as they would salt, many refused to eat Thai shrimp. Why?

Most of those succulent shrimp grow on crowded farms, disease is rampant, which is combated by pumping the shrimp (and, by extension, us) with antibiotics...some which have been banned in the USA.

If the States banned something, you know it's pretty bad.

Then there's the environment....
Shrimp farms destroy coastal mangrove forests (pictured), which are important stores of carbon and biodiversity. After five years so much sludge builds in farms they are unusable.

Not all shrimp are farmed, you don't have to give them up altogether. That's why we need better labelling, something many of my letters have asked for.

Today's Letter
Also, our letter today is to the WORST OFFENDER on the Canadian List, and number 13 out of 20 in the States. Drumroll for....Costco

Exciting news, though, from last year:
"After nearly a year of pressure by Greenpeace supporters Costco announced it has stopped selling a dozen threatened species of red listed fish in a corporate effort to provide customers with a choice of sustainable seafood products only. [...] they enlisted the online assistance of over 100,000 people who sent messages to Costco’s CEO demanding real progress"

To: Costco

As a Costco customer and enthusiast, I'm happy to see the progress Costco has made towards improving its seafood policy.  But much must be done before I recommend Costco to friends based on seafood.

To quote Greenpeace's website directly:
  • Costco’s seafood sourcing policy only covers fresh and frozen seafood. Canned seafood products and other product categories like pet food are not covered.
  • The company has not identified any progress on seeking alternatives for the remaining Redlist species on sale. 
  • Information about the company’s seafood sustainability initiatives is not readily available to its members in stores or on the website. 
  • Costco seafood products do not provide enough information about where and how the species was caught or farmed to help its members make more informed purchasing decisions.

Thank you very much.

Sent to (same letter sent twice, awww ya!) :
Costco Canada Corporate Office:
415 West Hunt Club Road
Ottawa, ON K2E 1C5

PO Box 34331
Seattle, WA 98124

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