Albertsons to post ‘color added’ signs on farmed salmon
1st May 2003
Albertsons Inc. announced yesterday that it has begun posting ‘color added’ signs on its farmed salmon products nationwide.
The move by the Boise, Idaho-based grocery chain, which has 2,421 stores in 33 states, comes a week after plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against three major retailers for failing to notify consumers that farmed salmon contain colorants.
On Tuesday, Kroger Co., another defendant in the lawsuit, announced that it would be posting new labels on all of its farmed salmon products as well. The third defendant, Safeway, has not commented on the how it intends to respond to the lawsuit.
Plaintiff attorney Paul Kampmeier of Smith & Lowney said the quick response of retailers proves the merit of the lawsuit. “It’s a huge victory for consumers,” the attorney said. “It confirms our analysis of their legal duties.”
On April 23, five named plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court, accusing the three stores of committing consumer fraud and deception by failing to disclose the additives – astaxanthin and canthaxanthin - in farmed salmon. The plaintiffs also allege that they were duped into paying an inflated price for the product because they perceived it to be wild salmon.
Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, retailers are required by the US Food and Drug Administration to label salmon containing color additives.
Plaintiffs are seeking civil penalties in the “tens of millions,” said Kampmeier