ALDI’s farmed salmon is not sustainable, even though the massive retailer advertises it as such, GMO/Toxin Free USA claims in a new lawsuit.
The false advertising and marketing complaint, filed in U.S. Superior Court in the District of Columbia, claims that ALDI sources its salmon from industrial fish farms in Chile that use unsustainable and environmentally destructive practices, including the use of toxic chemicals.
“Testing of ALDI’s products has revealed the presence of the toxin ethoxyquin, which is routinely used as a preservative in industrial fish feed,” GMO/Toxin Free USA said in a press release. ALDI “deceptively” markets its Atlantic salmon products as “Simple. Sustainable. Seafood,” the group said.
ALDI, which operates around 2,000 stores in the United States, cannot comment on pending litigation, a company spokesperson told SeafoodSource.
GMO/Toxin Free USA is a nonprofit "advocating for a clean, healthy food system and educating consumers about the hazards of GMOs, synthetic pesticides, and other toxins," according to its website.
Its complaint describes the net-pen farms in Chile as using an “ecologically dangerous method” of salmon production in which thousands of fish are crowded into cages or pens.
“These floating factory fish farms spread feces, chemicals, parasites, and disease into the surrounding environment. This form of farming has been banned in numerous states due to concerns over environmental risks,” the organization said in the press release. “To enable the salmon to survive in these stressful, crowded, and unsanitary conditions, a large amount of antibiotics, synthetic pesticides and other chemicals are used.”
Ethoxyquin has been banned from use in animal feed in the European Union because of risks to human health and aquatic life, according to the group.
Consumer research shows that ALDI’s sustainable representations lead consumers to believe that its products are sustainably sourced according to high environmental and animal welfare standards, which is false and misleading, the complaint said.
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