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NOAA tuna label misleads consumers

10 Apr 2013
The purpose of the dolphin-safe label is to assure consumers that no dolphins were harmed in the capture of tuna

The purpose of the dolphin-safe label is to assure consumers that no dolphins were harmed in the capture of tuna

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) dolphin-safe label on tuna products fails to adequately ensure consumers that no dolphins were harmed in the capture of tuna, says international effort, Campaign for Eco-Safe Tuna.

This comes after the NOAA and the Department of Commerce released draft regulations to comply with last year’s World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) ruling on the use of the label.

The WTO found that the US dolphin-safe label does not inform consumers about the killing of dolphins in any of the world’s tuna fisheries other than the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) Ocean, depriving consumers of information about dolphin mortalities for more than 95% of the tuna labelled dolphin-safe that is sold in the US today.

The International Dolphin Conservation Program Act (IDCPA) specifies that any alternative label used must be backed by proof, supported 100% by observer coverage and a tracking and verification system.

Campaign leaders say that for tuna caught outside the ETP, the proposed regulations do not offer any real protections for dolphins or consumers and that major tuna companies StarKist, Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee have been using alternative labels that do not comply, creating false expectations for consumers.

They add that the current US law should be amended to bring the dolphin-safe labelling rules in line with consumer expectations that have developed over the past 20 years, allowing for more stringent and eco safe AISCP standard.

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The purpose of the dolphin-safe label is to assure consumers that no dolphins were harmed in the capture of tuna

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