American Tuna Products Allegedly Not Caught and Canned in the U.S.A., Class Action Lawsuit Says
According to a proposed class action, American Tuna, Inc. attempted to mislead the consumers into believing that the tuna in its products was caught and canned in United States waters. This is not true and the origin is not 100% America-based.
Jeffrey Craig v. American Tuna, Inc.
100% American Made – Not
According to the American Tuna Origin Class Action Lawsuit, a large amount of the tuna in American Tuna’s products is sourced from international as well as foreign waters and canned in Thailand, Costa Rica, and Vietnam, among other countries.
American Tuna’s product label representation and marketing materials claiming that its tuna is “Caught and Canned in the U.S.A,” “American Made,” and “100% American Made” are therefore misleading and false.
The suit, filed in New York on November 4 by Lead Plaintiff Jeffrey Craig, alleges that the defendant’s branding of its products being American-made has enabled it to charge “significantly more” for tuna versus competitors who promote their products more correctly. Consumers would not have purchased the canned tuna or would have paid less for it if they were aware of the actual source, the suit argues.
According to the lawsuit, many consumers prefer tuna sourced and canned in the U.S. because they believe fish collected and processed in American waters and factories is safer and of higher quality. Further, American Tuna attempted to capitalize on this desire by emphasizing the alleged American origin of its tuna in its branding and marketing.
Apart from statements on American Tuna product labels — not to mention its name and logo — the lawsuit alleges that the defendant’s website, social media profiles, and online presence are all intended to give the idea that its products are sourced and processed locally. Moreover, the American Tuna Origin Class Action Lawsuit asserts that until May 2021, American Tuna’s website represented that the company’s tuna was sourced from American Pacific Northwest fisheries; the defendant updated this statement to clarify that the fish originated in the North Pacific Ocean.
According to the lawsuit, the current language on American Tuna’s website actively promotes the concept that its products are sourced locally.
The American Tuna Origin Class Action Lawsuit then dissects a paragraph on the defendant’s website titled “Local Sourcing,” emphasizing that none of the paragraph’s assertions — including that American Tuna’s albacore is sourced from a Marine Stewardship Council-certified fishing industry and is caught by US-flagged vessels — necessarily imply that the tuna is sourced locally.
“Local” is defined as “from the immediate area” in the complaint. Therefore, no reasonable customer would regard tuna caught within international waters as being sourced locally.
More about the lawsuit
The defendant’s representations of American-made products are maintained on the company’s social media profiles and on online sellers such as Amazon. Numerous Amazon user reviews and the Q&A portion of the product listing demonstrate that buyers have mainly bought into American Tuna’s marketing and believe their tuna is caught and canned in the U.S.A., the complaint states.
According to the complaint, the defendant’s chief operating officer confirmed during an interview at the company’s San Diego warehouse that they sail to international waters and that shipments of American Tuna must pass customs.
According to the lawsuit, American Tuna’s careful design combined with opportunistic labeling and marketing enabled the company to charge a premium selling price for its tuna — between 32% and 38% more than similar products from other manufacturers.
The suit says that the law is intended to protect customers from this type of deceptive representation and predatory behavior.
Plaintiff Jeffrey Craig requests an injunction against the defendant’s unlawful activities and practices mentioned herein, as well as compensation for damages or $500 and attorneys’ fees.
Editor’s Note on American Tuna Origin Class Action Lawsuit:
This article is written to inform you of the class action lawsuit against American Tuna over allegations that it attempted to mislead consumers to believe its tuna is caught and canned in U.S. waters. Recently, a settlement for a similar lawsuit was also reached by Starkist.
Case Name & No.: Jeffrey Craig v. American Tuna, Inc., Case No. 1:21-cv-09125
Jurisdiction: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Allegations: American Tuna allegedly misled consumers to believe its tuna products are caught and processed in U.S. waters.
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