Mowi Ducktrap Salmon “Sustainably Sourced” Claims Class Action

What does “sustainably sourced” mean? This class action takes issue with this claim as it appears on labels of smoked salmon products from Mowi ASA, Mowi USA, LLC, and Mowi Ducktrap, LLC. The complaint alleges that the Mowi products are instead “produced using unsustainable industrial farming practices.”

The class for this action is all consumers who bought Mowi’s Products in the US within the applicable statute of limitations, up until the date the class in this action is certified.

Industrial farms, the complaint alleges, are “overcrowded and unsanitary,” with up to 70,000 fish crowded in water pens. These conditions, the complaint says, “not only inflict extreme stress on the salmon, but also lead to the development of ecologically dangerous diseases and parasite infestations.” There’s also another consideration: “Because the marine pens are connected directly to the ocean environment, outbreaks can endanger surrounding ecosystems.”

According to the complaint, consumers are increasing concerned about issues like sustainability, the environment, and animal welfare, and they are willing to pay more for products produced in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly, humane manner.

Smoked salmon marketed by Mowi under the Ducktrap River of Maine brand name includes the claim “sustainably sourced” on the back of some packages. The complaint alleges, “Reasonable consumers who see the ‘sustainably sourced’ claim would expect that the Products are made from fish that are sourced in accordance with high environmental and animal welfare standards.”

The complaint says this expectation is false: “In reality, the Products are made from salmon industrially farmed at Mowi’s facilities using unsustainable practices that are environmentally destructive and inhumane. As recently as August of 2020, the Chilean government determined that Mowi’s salmon farming facilities have caused ‘irreparable environmental damage’ to the Chilean marine ecosystem.”

Among the problems the complaint alleges against Mowi’s facilities are disease outbreaks among the fish and “massive ‘die-off’ events where several hundred thousand salmon are killed by algae blooms, poor health, and disease.” Also, the complaint claims that Mowi treats its salmon with antibiotics.

Mowi facilities, the complaint charges, “have been rated by animal charities as some of the industry’s worst due to mortality rates, parasite infestations, stress levels, and overstocking.” This, the complaint alleges, makes the “sustainably sourced” claim “false, deceptive, and misleading.”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stated that general claims like “sustainable” “likely convey that the product … has specific and far-reaching environmental benefits and may convey that the item … has no negative environmental impact.” The FTC has therefore warned companies not to use this kind of unqualified claim because, it says, “it is highly unlikely that marketers can substantiate all reasonable interpretations of these claims.”

The counts include violations of consumer protection laws, breach of express warranty, and unjust enrichment, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Mowi Ducktrap Salmon “Sustainably Sourced” Claims Complaint

December 31, 2020

What does “sustainably sourced” mean? This class action takes issue with this claim as it appears on labels of smoked salmon products from Mowi ASA, Mowi USA, LLC, and Mowi Ducktrap, LLC. The complaint alleges that the Mowi products are instead “produced using unsustainable industrial farming practices.”

Mowi Ducktrap Salmon “Sustainably Sourced” Claims Complaint

Case Event History

Mowi Ducktrap Salmon “Sustainably Sourced” Claims Complaint

December 31, 2020

What does “sustainably sourced” mean? This class action takes issue with this claim as it appears on labels of smoked salmon products from Mowi ASA, Mowi USA, LLC, and Mowi Ducktrap, LLC. The complaint alleges that the Mowi products are instead “produced using unsustainable industrial farming practices.”

Mowi Ducktrap Salmon “Sustainably Sourced” Claims Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Sustainability or Ecological/Environmental Claims