"Ruling May Jeopardize 'Dolphin Safe' Label"

"A ruling on Thursday by the World Trade Organization could imperil 'dolphin safe' labeling on tuna in the United States."

"Mexico had complained to the international arbiter that American labeling rules, which bestow dolphin-safe labels only on fishing fleets that do not use a netting method known as purse seining, discriminate against Mexican producers. (Purse seining involves setting up a wall of netting around fish and then 'pursing' the bottom to capture them.)

The World Trade Organization ruled that the American rules do not discriminate against Mexican producers. Nonetheless, it said that the nation’s rules were more restrictive than they needed to be to protect dolphins and inform consumers.

The impact of the decision was being debated on Thursday as experts analyzed hundreds of pages of details. Andrea D. Mead, a spokeswoman for the United States trade representative’s office, which argued the case for the United States, said the agency was considering whether to appeal. She said that her office was 'very concerned' by the finding."

Leslie Kaufman reports for the New York Times' Green blog September 15, 2011.


"WTO Panel Rules US Tuna Labels Too Restrictive" (AP)

Source: Green (NYT), 09/16/2011