The day after district attorneys for three California counties filed a lawsuit against tuna producers alleging that they make quantity misrepresentations “by failing to meet the standard of identity for canned tuna products seasoned or flavored with broth, as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations,” it was announced that a $3.3-million settlement had been reached. California v. Bumble Bee Foods, LLC, No. 12-11729 (Cal. Super. Ct., filed August 2, 2012).
According to the San Diego County district attorney, a California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) investigation discovered that the companies “failed to meet the required amount of tuna in cans packed with vegetable broth and added flavors.” Under the terms of the agreement and without admitting liability, each company will provide $300,000 in canned tuna to California food banks, and costs and penalties will be divided among the counties with each receiving $969,500. CDFA will be paid investigative costs of $86,000. The companies also agreed “to follow federal packing standards for the fill of tuna in canned tuna products.” See San Diego County District Attorney News Release, August 3, 2012.