WTO Court Bans US 'Dolphin-Safe' Labels, Calls Them 'Unfair' to Mexico

"The international trade court has effectively outlawed the sale of dolphin-friendly canned tuna in American supermarkets, ruling such labels were unfair to Mexican fishermen."

"The ruling, delivered on Wednesday, was the third from the World Trade Organisation against the use of a voluntary system of labels for dolphin protection and was immediately denounced by conservation groups.

"It's an absurd decision," said Mark Palmer, a marine mammal expert at the Earth Island Institute which devised the voluntary standard for canned tuna.

The label system was introduced 20 years ago to protect dolphins in the eastern tropical Pacific, the source for almost all of America's tuna.

Campaigners say the labels have been successful in reducing the number of dolphins killed by tuna fishing fleets, and the system has strong support from the Obama administration and from congress."

Suzanne Goldenberg reports for the Guardian May 16, 2012.

Source: Guardian, 05/17/2012