Stop Walgreens' exploitation of Antarctica!

  • by: Kristin Urquiza
  • recipient: Stefano Pessina, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance

Antarctica is the one place on Earth set aside by international treaty as a sanctuary for research, nature, and peace. Unfortunately, the Antarctic Treaty left out specific protections for the giant ocean, the garden that feeds the continent, surrounding it. The Southern Ocean now faces growing threats by corporations looking to make a profit from its waters at the expense of penguins, blue whales, and seals.

Big business is focused on harvesting krill, a small shrimp-like crustacean, that is the foundation of the Antarctic food web. Industrial boats equipped with state of the art technology that vacuums every last individual krill in its path have moved in. Once caught, krill are crushed into Omega 3 pills to be sold at lofty prices at a Walgreens Boots Alliance retailer near you.

Yet, to date zero clinical trials have confirmed the marketing and health claims you’ll see on the package.

Recent reports show that krill numbers have decline upwards of 80%. Meanwhile, krill are on the front lines of climate change -- melting sea ice is destroying their habitat, and ocean acidification could further harm them. And at the same time, krill also play a key role in slowing global warming, as they transport carbon dioxide from the surface to the deep water.

The only way these companies will stop is if there's no market for Antarctic wildlife on our shelves. That's why we're asking Walgreens Boots Alliance to stop the promotion and selling of Antarctic krill -- if we can get this major retailer to refuse to sell krill-killing supplements, we can stop fishing companies from destroying this marine sanctuary.

Dear CEO Stefano Pessina,

Antarctica is the world’s last great refuge, guaranteed by treaty to be free from commercial exploitation. Unfortunately, this protection didn’t extend to the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica, leaving its immense marine life vulnerable.

You have said that “environmental sustainability is part of Walgreens’ commitment to help our customers live well, stay well, and get well.” But Walgreens’ sales of Antarctic krill-based Omega-3 products don’t live up to these commitments. Krill is the basis of the Antarctic oceans’ food chain.

Blue whales, seals, penguins, sea birds, and a multitude of other species rely on krill for food. It’s time for Walgreens to end its sales of nutritional supplements made from Antarctic krill – which supports all life in this extraordinary ocean sanctuary.
Walgreens, stop exploiting Antarctica’s marine life.

Remove Antarctic krill Omega-3 supplements from your shelves.


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