Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea and StarKist were sued by American consumers who claimed the companies deceived customers into believing their tuna was captured through “dolphin-safe fishing practices,” according to a report.
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The class actions filed with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco Monday stated the companies do not use safer practices to catch tuna that are more costly, Reuters reported. The class actions alleged the companies used techniques that killed or harmed dolphins calling the “dolphin-safe” labels on the canned tuna false. The consumers also alleged StarKist “violated federal racketeering law through its alleged dealings with foreign fishing companies.”
The lawsuits sought full refunds to customers across the U.S. who purchased the canned tuna over the past four years or for “premiums paid for the dolphin-safe claims,” Reuters reported.
It was not immediately known how the consumers will prove the companies misled their customers.
Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea and StarKist have dominated the canned tuna market in the U.S.
Bumble Bee and StarKist did not immediately respond for Fox Business’ request for comment.
A Chicken of the Sea spokesperson told Fox Business in a statement that the company is "committed to supporting the conservation of all marine species and ensures all our products are certified 'Dolphin Safe.' Chicken of the Sea is currently certified by the Earth Island Institute and adheres to the guidelines set forth in the Institutes 'Dolphin Safe' standard."