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Costco must face lawsuit over ‘dolphin safe’ tuna claim

A U.S. judge on Tuesday said Costco Wholesale Corp must face a lawsuit claiming it falsely advertises and labels its canned tuna as “dolphin safe” despite using fishing methods that harm and kill dolphins. U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco said the plaintiff in the proposed nationwide class action plausibly alleged that Costco fraudulently pledged adherence to a higher dolphin-safe standard than federal law requires, and then broke its “heightened promise.” The plaintiff Melinda Wright accused Costco of violating California consumer protection laws by claiming its tuna was caught with “100% Monofilament Leaders & Circle Hooks,” a practice she said is not dolphin-safe, and was “100% Traceable from Sea to Shelf,” which she said could not be verified.