Tied: Carrefour, Auchan
Shanghai City Shop
Beijing Ito Yokado
Huapu (Jian Mart)
Aeon & Jusco Beijing (North China)
Wellcome (Hong Kong)
10 Vanguard 11 Tied: HuaLian (including Lianhua, Hualian, and Century Legend:
Mart), Lotus, Jusco (South China), Jusco (Hong Kong), Park and The supermarket has done a lot in this area. The supermarket has some limited policies targeting this area. The supermarket has begun some initial policies to improve this area.
Shop, Chaoshifa, Jingkelong, and Wu-mart 19 Tied: Chengdu Ito Yokado, Tesco
1. No genetically engineered foods The supermarket has promised to not sell genetically engineered (GE) foods,
A traceability system allows for effective oversight of the entire production process from field to store and ensure compliance with the supermarket’s commitments on banning GE foods and above-mentioned priority pesticides.
including in their own-brand products as well as other fresh unpackaged grains, vegetables, and fruits.
4. Complementary oversight measures The supermarket promises to implement other control measures such as
2. Ban on pesticide use
supplier management policies, an internal alert system, and product testing and inspection mechanisms. Supplier management policies should include contracted
The supermarket has promised as immediate action to ban the use of most
requirements, independent auditing, and penalties for violations.
hazardous pesticides. Specifically they committed to ban pesticides that the World Health Organization categorizes as extremely hazardous, highly hazardous, and moderately hazardous, and pesticide belonging the organophosphates class (which were developed from war-time nerve gases and are known to pose longterm negative threats to the nervous system, especially in children), as well as pesticides that China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection have classified as
5. Information transparency
“highly polluting, high environmental risk,” and pesticides considered toxic to
The supermarket promises to make public its policies on banning GE foods and
above-mentioned priority pesticides, and other related matters, as well as its product
In the Hong Kong region, supermarkets are also supposed to take the initiative to
traceability system and complementary control measures.
implement measures to gradually decrease the total quantity of pesticides used and evolve towards a model of ecological agriculture.
3. Establish product traceability and control systems The supermarket promises to establish a comprehensive traceability and control System for their entire supply and provide timelines to achieve it. A traceability system tracks products from the field along the way to their supermarket shelves
6. Double standards The supermarket has made commitments to ban GE foods and/or pesticides in other countries or regional markets, but has given no such commitments in China and Hong Kong (nationwide or regionally).
Why are genetically engineered (GE) foods dangerous? There is still huge uncertainty regarding the long-term safety of GE foods. Scientific experiments have found that animals fed GE foods exhibited allergy like reactions, and some exhibited abnormal changes to their liver and kidney tissue. Releasing GE crops into the environment can also contaminate and negatively impact natural biodiversity. Extensive market research has found that consumers in China and Hong Kong are clearly against GE foods. As such, Greenpeace is actively pushing for supermarkets to respect consumer desires by making a commitment to non-GE foods.
Why is Greenpeace asking supermarkets to ban pesticides? The health and environmental hazards of pesticides have been well documented already. They can cause immediate as well as long-term health damages. Some pesticides are highly poisonous in smallest doses. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies pesticides according to their acute poisonous; pesticides in Class 1 are extremely hazardous or highly hazardous. The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization recommends that developing countries do not use WHO I pesticides. Many organophosphate pesticides, which were developed from war-time nerve gas research are listed in WHOâ€™s classification, in addition they pose long-term dangers for human health, especially that of children. Many other pesticides are used in large quantities threatening the environment and people, and pesticide residues can be found in many foods including vegetables and fruit. As a result, for the protection of human health and the environment, Greenpeace is campaigning for supermarkets to ban the use of the most hazardous pesticides as an immediate action.
Why should supermarkets take responsibility to protect consumer safety and the environment? Greenpeace supports the sustainable development of agriculture and cares deeply about food safety and consumer health. We believe that food safety and environmental protection can only be guaranteed through the joint efforts of the government, food producers, suppliers, retailers, and consumers. As an important retail channel, supermarkets cannot shirk their responsibility on food safety and the environment. By taking the lead, supermarkets not only guarantee the safety and health of consumers, but also help further the much needed reform of agriculture towards an ecological, sustainable model. Thus, Greenpeace has gathered information via questionnaires and other means to produce a comprehensive comparison of the policies of Chinaâ€™s major supermarkets on GE foods, pesticide use, and information transparency. We hope that the Supermarket Ranking Guide will help consumers choose the supermarkets with the best and most comprehensive policies in place to safeguard our health and our environment.
How was the Supermarket Ranking Guide produced? Each supermarket was surveyed on their policies and measures on banning GE foods and/or pesticides, product traceability and control systems, additional complementary management policies, and information transparency. The survey results, combined with information made available to the public on each supermarketâ€™s website, were turned into scores, which were then ranked. If you would like to learn more about our scoring system, please visit the Greenpeace website (Chinese).
Tied for first
Carrefour has a comprehensive policy banning GE foods in
Auchan has made a clear commitment to ban GE foods
their own-brand products as well as in fresh unpackaged fruit,
from its own-brand foods as well as other fresh, unpackaged
vegetables and grains. In their own-brand foods, Carrefour
vegetables, fruit, and grains. It commits to ban four out of
promises to ban all five types of pesticides mentioned above.
the five pesticides listed in its own-brand foods and other
For fresh vegetables and fruits sourced from their farm-direct
fresh unpackaged vegetables, fruit, and grains. Auchan
purchasing program, the supermarket commits to banning
is also establishing a sound traceability system, supplier
WHO I and organophosphate pesticides. The supermarket
management policies, internal alert systems, inspection
has also undertaken the establishment of a complete
mechanisms, and other policies, and has set a timetable for
product traceability system, supplier management policies,
the implementation. Auchan promises to make its specific
an internal alert system, and inspection mechanisms. All
policies on banning GE and phasing out pesticides have been made public; Carrefour will also make public its product traceability system and supplier management policies.
3. Shanghai City Shop
4. Beijing Ito Yokado
Shanghai City Shop has committed to ban all five of the
Beijing Ito Yokado has made clear commitments on
pesticides listed above in its own-brand vegetables, fruit,
banning GE ingredients in its own-brand foods and other
and grains. It will also ban extremely hazardous and highly
fresh unpacked vegetables, fruits, and grains sold in its
hazardous pesticides and organophosphate pesticides
supermarkets. In its own-brand vegetables, fruits, and
from other vegetables, fruit, and grains. The supermarket
grains, Beijing Ito Yokado promises to ban all five pesticides
has clear commitments banning GE ingredients in its own-
listed. Regarding other fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains,
brand foods. Shanghai City Shop has also said that it is
the supermarket promises to ban WHO I pesticides and
working on establishing comprehensive product traceability
organophosphate pesticides. The supermarket has also
and control systems, supplier management policies, internal
promised to establish a comprehensive product traceability
alert systems, inspection mechanisms and other policies, but
system, supplier management policies, an internal alert
it still needs to provide a detailed implementation schedule
system, and inspection mechanisms. Beijing Ito Yokado has
for banning GE ingredients in other brand products. It will
currently made available to the public its policies on banning
make related commitments and specific policies available
GE and pesticides use, and will eventually make public its
to the public.
product traceability and inspection systems.
5. Huapu (Jian Mart) Huapu does not have its own-brand foods; it has promised
system, supplier management policies, an internal alert
to ban GE fresh and unpackaged vegetables, fruits, and
system, and inspection mechanisms. It will make open to
grains, and to ban WHO I pesticides and organophosphate
consumers the results of banning pesticides, and its product
pesticides from their production process. The supermarket
traceability system, inspection mechanisms, and related
has also promised to establish a comprehensive product
traceability system, supplier management policies, an internal alert system, and inspection mechanisms. In the future the supermarket will open their product traceability system and related information to the public.
7. NGS NGS has made clear commitments that its own-brand
6. Aeon & Jusco Beijing (North China)
foods are not GE, and has clearly banned WHO I pesticides
Aeon does not have its own-brand foods. It has committed
process. The supermarket has also promised to establish
to ban GE fresh and unpackaged fruits, vegetables, and
a comprehensive product traceability system, supplier
grains, and to ban the use of organophosphate pesticides
management policies, an internal alert system, and
from their production process. The supermarket has also
inspection mechanisms, it has also provided a timetable,
promised to establish a comprehensive product traceability
and will make some specific policies open to consumers.
and organophosphate pesticides from their production
Walmart has committed to ensure all rice as well as their
Vanguard does not have clear policies on GE foods and
own-brand rice products are GE-free, and will establish
pesticides use. It has provided the list of pesticides to
accompanying policies. For pesticides, Walmart is currently
related suppliers, with the suggestion that they avoid using,
experimenting with regulations at the source of production.
as much as possible, the pesticides on the list.
At the same time, the supermarket is establishing and will gradually improve a comprehensive product traceability system, supplier management policies, an internal alert system, and inspection mechanisms, and will make some specific policies open to consumers.
11. Tied 9. Wellcome (Hong Kong) The supermarket has clear non-GE policies for Wellcomebrand foods. The supermarket has implemented a product traceability system, inspection mechanisms, and other policies to reduce the use of pesticides at the source.
Beijing Hualian (including Lianhua, Hualian, and Century Mart), Lotus, Jusco (South China), Jusco (Hong Kong), Park and Shop, Chaoshifa, Jingkelong, and Wu-mart These supermarkets have not given any commitments regarding the banning of GE foods or phasing out the five types of pesticides listed. Nor have they established related management and control policies.
Chengdu Ito Yokado
The supermarket has not provided any specific information
Tesco has not provided any specific information on their
in response to Greenpeaceâ€™s questionnaire, and nor
policies toward GE foods and phasing out pesticide use in
did Greenpeace find any information on its official website
response to Greenpeaceâ€™s survey; Greenpeace also did
regarding policies on GE foods and pesticide use.
not find any information regarding these policies on their official website. Yet Tesco in the UK has banned GE foods
However, Ito Yokado in Japan has already established a
in its own-brand products, and does not use GE-feed in
relatively complete vegetable-product traceability system,
raising its organic animals. In contrast, Tesco appears to
and made this information open to consumers. At the same
disregard the safety of its consumers in China in its double-
time, the supermarket in Japan has long-term plans to reduce
standard on GE.
the quantity of all pesticides used to 50% of the average. In contrast, the Chengdu Ito Yokado appears to disregard the food safety of Chinese consumers with its double standard on product traceability systems and policies on pesticide use.
Disclaimer: This guide ranks supermarkets in terms of their policies and measures on the banning of GE foods and the phasing out of pesticides. The ranking guide covers only information from the supermarkets’ responses to our questionnaire, “A Greenpeace Investigation on Supermarket Policies and Measures on Rejecting GE Foods and Reducing the Use of Pesticides,” as well as information available to the public on the supermarkets’ official websites as of Dec 8, 2009.