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Renewable Vibes > News > Sustainable Living > The legal fellow specializing in animal welfare has provided an overview of recent lawsuits related to deceptive seafood marketing.

The legal fellow specializing in animal welfare has provided an overview of recent lawsuits related to deceptive seafood marketing.

Many companies are adjusting their marketing strategies in response to a series of lawsuits regarding misleading claims about seafood sustainability. However, despite these changes, many companies involved in these cases still struggle to provide legitimate evidence to support their claims, as stated by an attorney from Richman Law and Policy, a law firm based in Irvington, New York, USA, that has represented the plaintiffs in several of these cases.

Recently, two lawsuits against major grocer ALDI were dropped after the retailer agreed to modify its marketing tactics for its farmed salmon products. Similarly, in September 2022, Gorton’s Seafood, based in Gloucester, Massachusetts, settled a lawsuit out of court that accused its tilapia products of false advertising in terms of sustainability.

In another case, a federal judge denied Red Lobster’s motion to dismiss a class-action fraud lawsuit that alleged the restaurant chain sold Maine lobster and farmed shrimp that did not meet the company’s sustainability claims. The plaintiff, represented by Richman Law, argued that the shrimp and lobster were sourced from farms and fisheries that did not meet high environmental standards.

SeafoodSource recently interviewed Brooke Dekolf, the Animal Welfare Legal Fellow at Richman Law and Policy, to discuss whether seafood suppliers have changed their practices and marketing claims since the first lawsuit of this nature emerged several years ago.

SeafoodSource asked Dekolf why she believed courts ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, or at least allowed litigation to proceed, in seafood sustainability cases. Dekolf explained that courts are recognizing the desire of modern consumers to align their purchasing decisions with ethical concerns such as minimizing their contribution to the climate crisis and reducing harm to farmed animals, including aquatic animals. These consumers seek animal-based products that are marketed as sustainable and produced from farmed animals treated as humanely as possible.

However, while many consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental and welfare issues associated with land-based industrial animal agriculture, the industrialization of aquatic animal farming is a relatively new concept. As a result, consumers may not be fully informed about the potential negative consequences of certain seafood production methods.

The article concludes by noting that companies involved in seafood production must ensure that their marketing claims about sustainability are accurate and supported by evidence. The ongoing lawsuits serve as a reminder that misleading claims can lead to legal action, damaging a company’s reputation and potentially resulting in financial losses.

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