Scott Brown adds Whole Foods to list of “politically correct” targets

US Senator Scott Brown regularly mocks Cambridge, Harvard, and other perceived beacons of liberal elitism. Now, he’s taking on an arguably bigger bastion: Whole Foods.

Brown’s office mailed a letter to the righteous food chain today, criticizing it for its new policy selling only sustainable fish.

“I’m concerned that your decision has more to do with political correctness than with sound reasoning,” wrote Brown. “Aside from being based on uncertain science, this decision will hurt Massachusetts fishermen and their families at a time when they are already struggling to survive under onerous government regulations.”


Brown, a Republican, is in a tight reelection race against Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law School professor from Cambridge, the leading Democratic candidate. The senator has heavily courted the state’s fishing industry since he was elected in 2010.

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Whole Foods told the New York Times, in a story published yesterday that “stewardship of the ocean is so important to our customers and to us.”

“We’re not necessarily here to tell fishermen how to fish, but on a species like Atlantic cod, we are out there actively saying, ‘For Whole Foods Market to buy your cod, the rating has to be favorable.’ ” David Pilat, the global seafood buyer for Whole Foods, told the Times.

Brown wrote in his letter to Whole Foods executives that the science determining how many fish can be caught is uncertain.

“American fishermen operate under some the strictest management rules in the world,” he wrote. “They are already limited by uncertain and inexact science by the federal agency in charge of regulating the industry.”

Noah Bierman can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.