U.S. Tuna Foundation
The U.S. Tuna Foundation (USTF) was established "in 1976 to serve as an umbrella organization representing the various interests of the U.S. canned tuna industry." 
"The USTF represents the international and domestic interests of the industry on numerous issues from fishing access arrangements, to federal and state regulations, to national legislation, to domestic marketing," it states on its website. 
Members of the foundation include "the U.S. distant water tuna purse seine fleet and the U.S. canned tuna branded processors (Star-Kist Foods, Bumble Bee Seafood and Chicken of the Sea International)." 
Heavy Metal PR
The PR firm Ruder Finn has landed an account with the U.S. Tuna Foundation to counter public concerns about the mercury levels in tinned tuna. The director of media relations at Ruder Finn, Nancy Glick told PR Week that the foundation was working "aggressively" to defuse the issue and is working with public officials "who feel very strongly that we have to stop scaring the public." 
Following a three-part series in the Chicago Tribune in December the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [http:www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/34277/story.htm&cid=0 stated] that it would investigate the issue. Since March 2004 the Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN) have provided an online mercury in seafood calculator and lobbied for more stringent FDA testing. PR Week reports that "Ruder Finn is also working with the University of Maryland (UM) to promote realmercuryfacts.org, which responds to consumer confusion about mercury."
In June 2006 O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that Ruder Finn had lost the account and was being replaced by Burson-Marsteller. "Amid the transition, Burson is working to challenge a widely cited Consumer Reports study published this month which found canned light tuna can contain higher levels of mercury than other tuna and could pose serious problems to an unborn child," O'Dwyers reported. 
PR Companies Working for Tuna Foundation
1101 17th Street, NW, Ste. 609
Washington, DC 20036
Email: info AT tunafoundation.org
Other SourceWatch resources
- Beth Herskovits, "RF seeks to clarify mercury issue for Tuna Foundation", PR Week, January 5, 2006. (Sub req'd).
- Marian Burros, "Advisories on Fish and the Pitfalls of Good Intent" New York Times, February 15, 2006.
- "Tuna Foundation Revamps PR", O'Dwyers PR Daily, June 8, 2006. (Sub req'd).
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