(Reuters) – U.S. consumers sued Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea and StarKist, accusing the country’s three major packaged-tuna brands of deceiving them into thinking their tuna is caught only through “dolphin-safe” fishing practices.
The proposed class actions filed on Monday said the defendants employ fishing techniques that kill or harm dolphins, and do not always use safer, costlier pole-and-line and other methods used by such rivals as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
Consumers - Defendants - Labels - Laws - US
The consumers said this makes the defendants’ dolphin-safe labels false and misleading, violating the laws of several U.S. states including California, Florida, New Jersey and New York.
They also said StarKist violated federal racketeering law through its alleged dealings with foreign fishing companies.
Concern - Dolphin - Safety - Consumers - Hindus
Concern about dolphin safety “makes tuna fish consumers no different from Hindus attributing zero value to beef products, or vegans attributing zero value to animal products, or vegetarians attributing zero value to meat, fish, and poultry,” the complaints said.
StarKist said it does not discuss pending litigation, but would not buy tuna “caught in association with dolphins.” It also condemned “indiscriminate fishing methods” that trap dolphins along with the intended catch.
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