ORGANIC CONSUMER ASSOCIATION SUES MOWI
Organic Consumer Association sues Mowi. Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has filed a suit against Mowi USA and Mowi Ducktrap for what they allege is deceptive marketing and advertising of smoked Atlantic salmon products sold under the Ducktrap River of Maine brand.
The action was filed by Richman Law Group on behalf of OCA, in D.C. Superior Court under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
“Most consumers choosing a smoked Atlantic salmon product with the words ‘All Natural’ on the package would be surprised to learn that that salmon was raised in a crowded pen where it was treated with artificial chemicals, including pesticides and medically important antibiotics,” said OCA International Director, Ronnie Cummins.
“In survey after survey, consumers say they believe a product labelled ‘all natural’ was produced without synthetic chemicals, especially pesticides and antibiotics, and that they are willing to pay more for products labeled ‘natural’,” Cummins said. “Ducktrap River of Maine targets those consumers, even though the company’s practices are not consistent with consumer expectations.”
In fact, consumers have ranked the “minimal use of hormones and drugs,” “no pollution to the environment” and “respect of fish welfare” as three of the four most important elements of sustainable aquaculture, says the OCA.
In addition to these “All Natural” and “100% All Natural” packaging and marketing claims, the OCA alleges Mowi misleads consumers by claiming its farmed salmon is “sustainably sourced,” “environmentally sustainable” and “eco-friendly,” suggesting to consumers that the products are made from salmon sourced in accordance with higher environmental and animal welfare standards.
It is alleged that Mowi also misleadingly claims that Ducktrap products are “from Maine” and “from the coast of Maine,” when in fact the products are made from salmon sourced from industrial salmon farms outside the U.S.