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Published on January 31st, 2014


Chicken of the Sea

An advertising self-regulatory body recently referred a suspicious labeling case to the FTC for further review. The product in question is Chicken of the Sea—no, it’s not because it’s not really chicken—which the Animal Legal Defense Fund says may not be as dolphin-safe as it claims to be on its packaging. Chicken of the Sea refused to provide NAD substantiation for their claims. In 1999, Congress passed the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act, which strictly defined how tuna distributors could use the dolphin-safe seal on their labels. In tropical waters, tuna like to hang out with dolphins (who wouldn’t?), so often catching tuna without catching or harming dolphins at the same time can be tricky. Tricky or not, it’s the law, so if Chicken of the Sea isn’t already in compliance (which it says it is), it will have to change its ways.

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The National Advertising Division, or NAD, is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. NAD asks advertisers to substantiate or change their claims in advertisements. As part of a voluntary system of self-regulation, however, its recommendations can be ignored by the offending advertisers. In those instances, NAD refers the offender to federal consumer protection agencies.


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