Aldi negotiating settlements in two seafood sustainability claims lawsuits

An Aldi storefront in the United States.

Essen, Germany-based Aldi is actively negotiating settlements in two lawsuits alleging the multinational supermarket chain, which operates 2,304 stores in the United States, made false sustainability claims for some of its seafood products.

In May 2021, a class-action suit was brought against Aldi by Jessica Rawson in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging the retailer made deceptive sustainability claims in its marketing. Specifically, Rawson claimed certain fresh Atlantic salmon products contained the phrase "Simple. Sustainable. Seafood” despite being sourced, at least in part, from Chile, which has an “avoid” recommendation from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch sustainability ratings system.

Twice, the judge in the case has dismissed motions from Aldi to dismiss the case, most recently in May 2022. The case has since moved into mediation with the goal of arriving at a settlement, according to the latest court documents.

According to a 3 May hearing transcript, “the parties' ongoing settlement talks have slowed but they are considering a private mediation or a settlement conference with the court.”

A settlement conference is set to take place 14 June, 2023.

The other suit, filed in January 2021 by Toxin Free USA, a nonprofit that advocates against the use of GMOs, synthetic pesticides, and other toxins in food products, 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 ... 

Photo courtesy of Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

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