Sorry Charlie? American-made tuna claim questioned

Posted by mmcmullan on 10/03/2013

There’s a lot to a name. Don’t we know it: American consumers are big fans of products the bear a Made In America label.

That preference is surely what’s behind tuna canner StarKist’s new red, white, and blue offering: canned StarKist Chunk Light Tuna in Water and StarKist Chunk Light Tuna in Oil Products, prepared and packaged in American Samoa (the U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean), and dressed up in an attractive American-flag motif.

But how American-made is it? As reported by a news service that covers the fishing industry, StarKist has taken some heat for its promotion. So what’s their critics’ beef … or,if you'll indulge me: What do the critics find fishy?

”What’s up with the New StarKist Made in America label,” Jonathan Gonzalez, a US seafood blogger who is seeking a position non one of the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (PFMC) subpanels, tweeted on Friday.

”Foreign flag vessels, using who knows what gear type, no traceability, canned in Samoa. Hilarious,” replied American Tuna, a US seafood company that fishes and cans Albacore in the North Pacific.

That’s the problem. As long as a U.S.-flagged vessel catches the fish, the government considers them American fish, no matter where they’re caught. And it’s hard to independently verify which flag StarKist’s tuna fishers are flying under out on the high seas. That’s why Gonzalez, the seafood blogger, thinks an investigation into StarKist’s Made In America claim is warranted:

“I do believe the government should find out if Starkist’s Made in America tuna is in fact caught by US flagship vessels,” Gonzalez told Undercurrent. ”Just like I believe the government should make the COOL [Country of Origin Labelling] program mandatory for all canned tuna brands.”

Some food for thought for all you tuna salad lovers out there: Be wary of labels! A Made In America label is one we shouldn’t just throw around.

Image from Seafoodsource.com.

Related recent Blogs

@KeepitMadeinUSA on Twitter

  • If the United States wants to maintain its "rising star" manufacturing status, it must do a few key things: http://t.co/yVBTFyywYF 20 min 5 sec ago
  • That's right: the U.S. is a "rising star" in manufacturing. But there's more to do to increase our competitiveness: http://t.co/yVBTFyywYF 1 hour 35 min ago
  • .@BCGPerspectives says the United States is among the "rising stars" in global manufacturing. Here's our take: http://t.co/yVBTFyywYF 2 hours 19 min ago
  • Great @AP Q&A w/ @papergirlmacy on Factory Man: "When I write about economics, I write from the ground up." http://t.co/WSVs14gt2N 3 hours 5 min ago
  • RT @RachelBSAAM: If you're attending the #NCSLSummit stop by booth 940 for a one of a kind @KeepitMadeinUSA root beer opener. http://t.co/Q… 3 hours 31 min ago
  • "China is among several economies whose manufacturing price advantage over the U.S. is eroding..." http://t.co/BWfE2tsk7l 3 hours 38 min ago
  • But we also hear Titan Gilroy will be grand marshal at the MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championship next weekend! http://t.co/EXu7cRLieL 3 hours 45 min ago
  • Titan Gilroy is bringing the #MadeinAmerica message to @MAVTV this fall: http://t.co/9hLE5Hko72 3 hours 45 min ago
  • Back to School Shopping? Be sure to check out our #MadeinYourCity Back to School Guide: http://t.co/daOUtQmAqK 1 day 35 min ago
  • What will happen if America doesn't invest to rebuild its infrastructure? Somebody else will: http://t.co/4e7vGqOrSz 1 day 46 min ago