Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 11 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com Canned tuna giant StarKist was ordered Wednesday to pay a $100 million fine for its role in a price-fixing scheme for merchandise sold in the United States. A federal judge in San Francisco also sentenced the company to 13 months' probation, according to a Justice Department news release. "Today's result demonstrates our commitment to enforcing the antitrust laws aggressively against companies that fix prices," said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.
A former StarKist tuna company executive has pleaded guilty to price-fixing of packaged seafood sold in the United States. Prosecutors say the scheme has led to charges against rival tuna company Bumble Bee Foods. Stephen Hodge, a former StarKist Co. senior vice president, entered his plea in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday. He is scheduled to be sentenced in March. Federal prosecutors say Hodge and rival industry executives agreed to fix the prices of packaged seafood.
Customers walk past the head of a bluefin tuna in front of a seafood restaurant at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Criminal and civil cases allege executives at the largest canned tuna companies were agreeing to collectively raise prices and limit promotions. Major retailers are taking aim at the most popular tuna brands in the U.S. - Chicken of the Sea, Bumble Bee and StarKist - saying they conspired to keep prices high for consumers.
According to the National Fisheries Institute, Americans consumed more than 700 million pounds of canned tuna in 2015. That equates to 2.2 pounds per person annually. The food remains among the top three seafood items Americans consume each year-- and it's held that ranking for more than 10 years. But now retailers are saying that there's something pretty fishy going on in the canned tuna industry and, as is the trend with many other foods, there's been a renewed focus on how the fish is caught and processed-- and where it comes from. To that effect, on Whole Foods Market recently announced that by next January, all of the canned tuna sold in stores or used in its prepared foods departments will be sourced only from fishers that exclusively use pole-and-line, troll or hand line catch methods.