USA: California sues canned tuna firms over mercury warnings
California is suing three major canned tuna companies for not warning customers about the potential exposure to mercury from eating tuna.
Del Monte Foods, which makes StarKist tuna, Bumble Bee Seafoods, which makes Bumble Bee tuna, and Tri-Union Seafoods, which makes Chicken of the Sea tuna, were named as defendants in the case, which was filed at San Francisco Superior Court, reported Reuters.
The lawsuit alleges that the three companies violated Proposition 65, which requires companies to provide warnings about potential exposure to known carcinogens and reproductive toxins.
"Prenatal exposure to mercury can cause serious disabilities in infants and children," he said. "We're not trying to eliminate tuna from people's diets. We're trying to enforce the law and protect the health of California women and children," state Attorney General Bill Lockyer was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Lockyer said methylmercury compounds have been listed under Proposition 65 as carcinogens since 1996, while methylmercury has been listed as a reproductive toxin since 1987. Mercury and mercury compounds have been listed as reproductive toxins since 1990.
In response, the US Tuna Foundation (USTF) said that the industry "strongly disagrees" with the Attorney General and is prepared to demonstrate in court that the industry is in full compliance with Proposition 65 provisions.
"We believe that Californians have nothing to gain and much to lose by the Attorney General's action. Tuna is a safe and healthy food," said David Burney, USTF executive director.
"This suit is not grounded in science and will needlessly scare consumers away from affordable foods that are good for them," he added.
"According to industry representatives, canned tuna is in full compliance with Proposition 65 provisions. In fact, a key distinction in this case will be that Proposition 65 does not apply to those substances, which are derived from natural sources, such as mercury in fish," the USTF said.
Companies: Del Monte Foods
Philippines-based food and beverage giant San Miguel recently fought off competition from New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra to acquire National Foods, leader in the Australian dairy market. As San Migu...
Del Monte Foods, one of the US's largest manufactures and distributors of branded and private label food and pet products, announced Friday (16th December) that it would be paying out a dividend of US...
First Pacific Co said today (Monday) that it had scrapped its takeover plan for Del Monte Pacific after the pineapple canner's second-largest shareholder exercised its pre- emptive right, reports the ...
Philippines-based food and beverage giant San Miguel has announced that it has formed a joint venture with NutriAsia to acquire Del Monte Pacific....
Branded and private label food producer Del Monte Foods has reported rises in sales and net income for the second quarter ended 30 October 2005, bolstered by higher prices and increased volume from ne...
Ketchup and baked bean giant H J Heinz has reported rise in sales and net income for the second quarter ended 26 October 2005....
US fresh produce firm Fresh Del Monte has reported net income of $5.7m for the third quarter to 30 September, compared with $13.7m in the third quarter of 2004....
Branded and private label food producer Del Monte Foods has reported first quarter net profit at almost double the level achieved a year ago, helped by higher prices....
- just-food 2017 Survey - your thoughts on growth
- 2017 - what will shape the UK food sector?
- Food market in 2017: need-to-know US trends
- Food market in 2017: big foodservice trends
- Could BRF's Turkey move pave way for OneFoods IPO?
- Ferrero insists Nutella not pulled from shelves
- UK's Bakkavor plays down IPO "speculation"
- Dairy giant Muller appoints new CFO, COO
- PepsiCo launches Walkers Mediterranean in UK
- Mondelez plans "selective" UK price hikes