Industry Fears Fallout From Lawsuits –

Industry Fears Fallout From Lawsuits Fish Farming Today Published:  02 May, 2003

THE Scottish salmon farming industry is concerned that legal action in the United States could have implications for them.

Scottish Quality Salmon says this is another attempt to discredit salmon farming, which is already highly regulated.

Lawsuits, filed in Seattle, accuse three supermarket chains of not giving consumers the full information about farmed salmon, which they claim would have grey-coloured flesh, and would sell at lower prices, if synthetic colours were not added. The lawsuits claim damages for consumers who have over-paid for their salmon over a number of years.

Wild salmon’s pink colour is from from naturally occurring pigments in their diet of small marine animals. Synthetic versions of the naturally occurring colourings astaxanthin and canthaxanthin are added to salmon feed, and also to chicken feed and to margarine to give added colouring. The US Food and Drug Administration passed a law in 1995 to oblige retailers to provide labelling to tell consumers that salmon contains synthetic colouring.

Brian Simpson, chief executive of SQS, said it is no secret that astaxanthin and canthaxanthin are included in salmon feed. “It is all regulated and there is no requirement in this country to label the salmon. It would be like requiring beef to be labelled with everything the animal has eaten. The argument is about whether this is an additive to the food, or an additive to the fish itself. These colourings are anti-oxidants and are part of what keeps the farmed fish healthy.”