Campaign group Toxin Free USA has filed a false advertising lawsuit against supermarket Aldi Inc.
The non-profit organisation claims Aldi is deceptively marketing its Atlantic Salmon products as “Simple. Sustainable. Seafood.”
The complaint alleges Aldi sources its salmon from industrial fish farms in Chile that use unsustainable and environmentally destructive practices, including the use of toxic chemicals.
Toxin Free USA claims that testing of Aldi’s products has revealed the presence of the toxin ethoxyquin, which is routinely used as a preservative in industrial fish feed.
The lawsuit, filed under the District of Colombia Consumer Protection Procedures Act, seeks to end Aldi’s marketing of its Atlantic Salmon products as “sustainable.”
According to Toxin Free USA, salmon farms in Chile use a method of salmon production where thousands of fish are crowded into cages or “pens” in natural waterways.
Large amounts of antibiotics, synthetic pesticides and other chemicals are used to enable them to survive, it said. Ethoxyquin, which Toxin Free USA alleges was detected in Aldi salmon, has been banned from use in animal feed in the European Union.
The group said these “stocking density” issues also applied to Scottish salmon farmed in the UK, where fish suffered with sea lice parasites and harmful de-lousing practices.
The complaint said: “Thus Aldi’s marketing of the products – which suggests to consumers that the products are made from salmon sustainably sourced in accordance with high environmental and animal welfare standards – is false and misleading.”
Aldi Inc has been approached for comment.
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