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Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Act Research Papers

Research paper on Dolphin-safe Tuna Labeling Act can be custom written on the Act from the legal, environmental, corporate, political or scientific stance for any course you need.

In the 1980's consumers became aware of a standard reality of tuna fishing: the accidental capturing of dolphins while tuna fishing was causing the death of thousands of dolphins per year.  Outraged, consumers began to decry fishing practices which resulted in the death of dolphins and as a result, legislation was enacted to help discourage the senseless slaughter of these innocent creatures.  The Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Act of 1990, developed regulations to ensure consumers that the tuna their were purchasing was dolphin-safe.  What is perhaps most unique about this legislation is that it is a marked example of how consumer attitudes have affected product labels: “The development of a market for dolphin-safe tuna illustrates the role of consumers in influencing food labels”.

Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Act

Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Act

While one may invariably assume that the Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Act would be readily embraced by consumers, tuna companies and fisherman alike, the reality is that the road to creating this legislation was fraught with problems.  While proponents of the legislation maintained that polices were needed to protect the dolphins; opponents argued that enforcement of laws which modified fishing practices would cost fisheries millions of dollars and would astronomically raise the price of tuna.  In an attempt to understand how dolphin-safe tuna labeling became such a problematic issue, one needs to consider how the practice impacted all parties involved.  This can be accomplished by considering a brief history of the problem in a Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Act research paper.

Arguments in Support of the Dolphin-Safe Tune Labeling Act

  • Private firms had an incentive to produce and label dolphin-safe tuna because consumers were willing to pay for this quality attribute (and many unwilling to accept the alternative).
  • Companies will often adopt environmental polices because they make good business sense.  Not only are consumers willing to pay for specialty products, but adopting environmental polices provides a method for corporations to differentiate their product on the market.
  • Environmentalists also had a stake in passing the Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Act.  Because millions of dolphins worldwide were being killed each year, the dolphin population had dwindled significantly.  Although dolphins did not enter onto the endangered species list, by the late 1980s, they were considered threatened.  Environmentalists supported the legislation as a means to ensure that the total number of dolphins did not continue to decline.

Has the American government becomes so morally bankrupt that it would sacrifice environmental police to ensure stable trade relationships?  Unfortunately, yes.  If nothing else, the debate over dolphin safe tuna labeling clearly demonstrates the federal government’s bottom line.  Trade relations with Mexico and other foreign countries has become so important that the government is willing to let thousand of dolphins die needlessly each year.  Although consumers continue to aggressively oppose the sale of “dolphin-unsafe” tuna in the United States, the reality is that as Congress’ resolve to stand firm on this issue continues to weaken, consumers may eventually not have a choice in the matter.

The Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Act of 1990 is unique in that it is a clear illustration of how consumer demands shaped public policy.  In many respects, it is a shining example of our political system at work.  Despite the progress that has been made since the Act’s inception, trade relations with foreign countries now stands to threaten progress.  Inevitably consumer s cannot prevent the sale of “dolphin-unsafe” tuna; they can however, continue to refuse to but it.

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