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District Attorney: Making Sure Consumers Get The Tuna They Pay For United States, August 21, 12

Marin is known for many things--but sitting by while “Big Tuna” makes stooges out of us isn't one of them.

This week, Marin District Attorney Edward Berberian announced a major victory in the war against tuna shortchanging--when the “big three” tuna packers agreed to pay USD 3.3 million in civil penalties to Marin, San Diego and Riverside counties for failing to meet the required amount of tuna in cans packed with water, oil and vegetable broth.

The three DA offices opened the case following a 2010 investigation by the state Department of Food and Agriculture which found the tuna packers failed to meet the federal “standard of fill” requirements for tuna in its tuna cans.

As part of the settlement, Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea and StarKist tuna companies did not admit to any fishmonging wrongdoing.

The USD 3.3 million will be broken down to USD 969,500 for each DA office, an additional USD 86,000 to the California Department of Food and Agriculture and USD 300,000 worth of canned tuna to the California Association of Food Banks.

Unfortunately, those still feeling the hunger pangs from their underfilled cans of tuna won't be reaping any rewards--save for the comforting knowledge that Marin officials are looking out for their intake of Omega 3 fatty acids.

“As your district attorney, I want our Consumer Unit to focus on making sure Marin consumers get what they pay for and expect,” said Berberian. “Labels help consumers make selections—what is on the label is what a consumer expects to get.”