Monday, March 10, 2008

Update on tuna testing. Looks good so far!

I'm happy to report that the third round of testing that we had done on the Oregon albacore tuna has come back and shows mercury levels well within the acceptable levels established by all the various monitoring organizations, including the FDA and Physicians for Social Responsibility. You can take a look at the results here. This tuna is from a different lot than the tuna that we had tested a couple of weeks ago, although it was tested at the same lab. Within the next couple of days we expect to get the results of the other two pending tests and we'll let you know the outcome as soon as we have them. It's our hope that they'll both show that the Oregon albacore will have acceptable mercury levels, that we'll be able to call the high levels in the first lot an anomaly and we'll feel comfortable putting this great product that we've been promoting for so many years back in our seafood cases.

As you might imagine, we've had quite a few interactions with all sorts of folks from the Oregon fishing community in the last week or so, and even though some of the conversations have been somewhat heated, we're feeling really good about the direction that we're all headed. I think we're going to end up with a comprehensive program that helps ensure the safety of the seafood that we're offering to our customers and at the same time helps support our local fisheries.

This afternoon we had a conference call with representatives from Oregon State University, the Oregon Albacore Commission, the Seafood Consumer Center, Pacific Seafood and others. The purpose of our conversation was to brainstorm an on-going, third party testing program that would sample our tuna on an ongoing basis. Our intention is to share the results of these tests with our customers so they will be able to make informed decisions about the seafood they choose to eat. Each of the participants on the call agreed to go back to their organization and to ask their colleagues for suggestions on the most effective way to make this happen. We agreed to regroup later this week and I'll update you on the status then.

By the way, I had a tuna fish sandwich for lunch today--made with Oregon albacore tuna from Local Ocean Seafoods. It was delicious.

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