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Supermarket sales of illegally labelled smoked salmon exposed

Press Release from the Salmon Farm Protest Group

11th August 2003

Eighteen months after European Union fish labelling regulations came into force requiring salmon to be identified as being either farmed or wild, the UK’s largest supermarket group still ignores this law.

Last week, Salmon Farm Protest Group (SFPG) supporters found Tesco selling illegally labelled Irish smoked salmon in stores in London, Liverpool, Wirral, Manchester, Cheltenham, Evesham, Worcester, North Wales and Edinburgh.

The SFPG has asked Tesco Chief Executive Officer Terry Leahy to immediately withdraw the product [1].

Dublin-based Nolans, who supply the product to Tesco, admit that their salmon is farmed. They also admit that the fish had been fed artificial colourings - in spite of claims on their package wrapping that states “No artificial colourings”.

Wirral Trading Standards has sent a sample of this product to the Public Analyst, “to determine if undeclared or incorrectly described colours are present” [2].

Bruce Sandison, Chairman of the Salmon Farm Protest Group, said:

“In view of the assurance given to me on 15th April by Tesco’s Category Technical Manager, Jeremy Hooper, this is very disappointing. Mr Hooper told me then: “I am fortunate to have been involved with the generation of the fish labelling legislation at the EU and UK level and I can confirm to you that we changed the labels of all affected products, approximately six months ago.” I have now written to Mr Terry Leahy asking him to withdrawn the Nolans product from sale in his stores.”

The SFPG has notified LACROS, the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services, and lodged a formal complaint with Trading Standards. Details have also been passed to the European Commission.

Last month the SFPG made a formal complaint to the European Commission over the UK’s failure to implement the Fish Labelling Regulations [3].

Since April, the SFPG’s ‘Supermarket Salmon Watch’ campaign has found illegally labelled salmon in Asda, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Safeway, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, Booths, the Co-op, and now Tesco.

For further information contact Don Staniford on 07880 716082

See also:


[1] Letter to Tesco: see

[2] John Malone of Wirral Trading Standards (Tel: 0151 666 5288) told the SFPG on Tuesday 5th August:

“A sample will be submitted to the public analyst to determine if undeclared or incorrectly described colours are present. The main regulations are the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 and the Colours in Food Regulations, although it will be a matter for the Public Analyst to investigate further if he decides other regulations are breached”.

The SFPG’s response to the recent consultation on Canthaxanthin (E161g) by the Food Standards Agency can be found at:

[3] The SFPG’s complaint to the European Commission can be found at: