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Bumble Bee Pleads Guilty, Agrees to Pay $25 Million

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Chris Weeks

By Graham Forbes

The Justice Department announced Monday that Bumble Bee has agreed to plead guilty to one count of fixing the prices of canned tuna sold in the U.S. and pay a $25 million criminal fine.


Bumble Bee's guilty plea on price fixing is yet another example of the tuna industry doing whatever it takes to make a buck. Whether by colluding with other brands, misleading consumers, jeopardizing workers or destroying our oceans, the industry has consistently put profits before anything else. This admission of guilt raises additional questions around other ways the big three tuna brands—Bumble Bee, StarKist and Chicken of the Sea—have worked together to maintain the industry status quo.

It is time for one of the major brands in the U.S. to separate from the pack and show the leadership needed to build a more sustainable and ethical industry. Chicken of the Sea and its parent company Thai Union have shown a desire to change and we believe they could help move things in a better direction.

Consumers deserve to pay a fair price, know what's in their can and trust that workers catching tuna are doing so sustainably and under safe and just working conditions. It is time for real action.

Graham Forbes is an oceans campaigner for Greenpeace USA.

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