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South Carolina Agrees to Hear Artificially Colored Salmon Cases

SOUTH CAROLINA - The California Supreme Court agreed yesterday to review a ruling that suits alleging grocery stores sold artificially colored farmed salmon without disclosing to consumers the artificial coloring were preempted by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The justices, at their weekly conference in San Francisco, agreed to review the ruling by Div. Three of this district’s Court of Appeal in Farmed Raised Salmon Cases, B182901.

The Court of Appeal upheld a ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mohr, sustaining without leave to amend defendants’ demurrers to all of plaintiffs’ causes of action.

Individual plaintiffs in Los Angeles, Alameda and Monterey counties filed suits alleging that fish farmers feed farmed salmon the chemicals canthaxanthin and astaxanthin to obtain a color of flesh resembling that of wild salmon.

They alleged that the flesh of farmed salmon would appear grayish without the chemical additives and that consumers believe that the color of salmon is an indication of its origin, quality, freshness, flavor, and other characteristics.