Greenwashing & Self-Declared Seafood Eco-Labels

12 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2014 Last revised: 7 Jul 2014

See all articles by Jason J. Czarnezki

Jason J. Czarnezki

Pace University - School of Law

Andrew Homan


Meghan Jeans

Vermont Law School

Date Written: July 6, 2014


The credibility and veracity of an environmental claim depends on a high degree of transparency, clarity and trust. Businesses that utilize eco-labels to market the environmental performance of their seafood products often turn to third party certifications to minimize the potential for greenwashing and provide a level of verification and independence. Others rely on a riskier approach by developing their own “self-declared” or “first-party” eco-labels. Seafood retailers and suppliers considering the creation and use of an eco-label, certification, or seal to be used in the marketing of seafood products should ensure compliance with applicable FDA and USDA labeling rules. Furthermore, entities pursuing “self-declared” or “first-party” seafood eco-labels should consult the FTC’s Green Guides, closely follow developments in greenwashing litigation under federal and state consumer protection and unfair competition laws, and heed the early advice of legal experts in the field.

Keywords: seafood, eco-labels, labeling, sustainable

JEL Classification: K32, N50

Suggested Citation

Czarnezki, Jason J. and Homan, Andrew and Jeans, Meghan, Greenwashing & Self-Declared Seafood Eco-Labels (July 6, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Jason J. Czarnezki (Contact Author)

Pace University - School of Law ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

Andrew Homan

Independent ( email )

Meghan Jeans

Vermont Law School

68 North Windsor Street
P.O. Box 60
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States

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