Greenpeace to attack stores selling modified foods

WASHINGTON: Greenpeace is launching a PR effort, targeting the Safeway and Shaw's supermarket chains over their sale of genetically modified foods.

WASHINGTON: Greenpeace is launching a PR effort, targeting the Safeway and Shaw's supermarket chains over their sale of genetically modified foods.

To kick off the push the environmental group plans Tuesday demonstrations outside Shaw's stores in New England, and similar events Thursday at Safeway stores in San Francisco.

Greenpeace PR people are contacting more than 100 media outlets on both coasts to drum up coverage of the events and the planned year-long campaign.

It's targeting small newspapers throughout New England where Shaw's operates, as well as reaching out to radio talk shows where its representatives can discuss the nitty-gritty of the issue.

PR is being done in-house, with press officers in San Francisco and Washington, DC. Greenpeace will also work with a coalition of 14 other groups.

The organization wants all US supermarkets to stop selling items with GMO ingredients. Safeway was targeted because it is a major national chain that has refused to meet with Greenpeace on the issue. Shaw's was chosen because it is owned by UK-based Sainsbury's, which has removed GMO ingredients from products sold in Britain.

Shaw's corporate PR director Bernard Rogan said his chain plans to respond to Greenpeace's latest effort as it has in the past: by noting that it conforms to all US government regulations for the foods it sells.

Saying Shaw's should change as Sainsbury's did showed "a lack of knowledge of how the system really works,

Rogan said. "The credibility of the regulatory system here is far greater than in Europe. We're not going to act unilaterally."

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