Yesterday’s filing of its first written submission in the Article 21.5 compliance phase of the long-running case before the World Trade Organization represents the latest step in Mexico’s dispute with the United States over the legality of the use of the “dolphin-safe” label in the US market for tuna products.
Current US policy on eco-labeling for tuna effectively outsources regulatory authority to Earth Island Institute (EII), a financially motivated special interest group hiding behind a mask of marine conservation. The United States had an opportunity last year to amend current law to bring the dolphin-safe labeling rules in line with consumer expectations. Their failure to do so not only perpetuated the consumer deception as to the true dolphin-safe status of tuna bearing the “dolphin-safe” label, but also allowed for continued harm to dolphins and marine life in fisheries outside of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP).
The Campaign for Eco-Safe Tuna believes that US law must allow for the more stringent and eco-safe AIDCP standard of the ETP in order to ensure that no harm is done to dolphins and to give consumers a choice along with the information necessary to make educated purchasing decisions.
The Campaign for Eco-Safe Tuna is optimistic that the WTO will conclude that the United States has continued to violate its international obligations to Mexico. In the meantime, we will continue to work tirelessly to protect dolphins, tuna stocks and other marine species from harmful fishing methods and ensure that US consumers and policy makers are educated about the deceptive nature of the current “dolphin-safe” label for tuna products.