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Two consumer groups - the Environmental Working Group and the Center for Environmental Health - have filed notice of their intent to sue 50 salmon farms, fish processors and supermarket chains for what the groups say is the failure to warn consumers about potentially dangerous levels of cancer-causing chemicals.

The retailers targeted by the suit include Safeway, Kroger, Albertsons, and Costco.

The suits would be filed under a California anti-toxics law - Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 - that requires companies to notify consumers about products with hazardous levels of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm. The California Attorney General now has 60 days to decide whether to join the suit.

The actions build on a study that maintains that farm-raised salmon contains significantly more contaminants than salmon caught in the wild because of PCBs.

"Our goal is to challenge them to change their practices so their fish is safe to eat," said Michael Green, executive director for the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health.

Representatives of farmed salmon businesses dispute the claims, saying that research shows that the benefits of farmed salmon outweigh the possible risks, that farmed salmon is available year-round and is cheaper than wild salmon.
KC's View:
It is interesting that the chains are being targeted in this suit, considering that - at least to this point - food retailers have not been held culpable in tobacco suits and obesity suits.

A new trend in litigation? Retailers better hope not.