Press Release

Humane Society of the United States Should Abandon Phony Canadian Seafood Boycott

Click here for the DFO snow crab report.

Click here for our 2006 survey.

Washington — New information revealed today by the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) has led the group to demand that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) abandon its phony “boycott” of Canadian seafood. A thorough analysis of the snow crab market by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) shows that the HSUS “boycott” is a total failure. CCF research published last year had already demonstrated that 78 percent of restaurants and seafood companies described by HSUS as boycott participants are not actively shunning any Canadian seafood products. In addition, the website menus of several restaurants on the HSUS “boycott” list clearly include seafood items from Canada.

HSUS has widely boasted about its ability to manipulate the market for snow crab by encouraging U.S. restaurants not to purchase it. But according to the DFO’s analysis of snow crab market conditions, “the data suggest that the HSUS’s claims about the success of the boycott are much inflated at best, but more likely they are simply deceptive and misleading.”

Snow crab price and export data, obtained by DFO from the market research firm Urner Barry, show that while the value of Canadian snow crab exports to the United States fell between 2004 and 2006, the price of King crab from the U.S. state of Alaska also dropped in exactly the same fashion. Both rebounded steadily through 2006, debunking HSUS’s claims of a successful Canadian “boycott.”

The new data show that the 2004 price decline in snow crab was well underway six months before HSUS announced its planned boycott. DFO’s report notes that HSUS “later focused media attention on snow crab in the U.S.A.—after the prevailing market cycle was clear.”

“No matter what animal rights zealots say, American restaurants are not boycotting Canadian seafood in any meaningful numbers,” said CCF Director of Research David Martosko. “HSUS is using a phony boycott to do what it does best, which is raising enormous sums of money. This year the group will spend over $150 million demonizing meat and dairy consumption, fighting the necessary use of lab animals in medical research, and — of course — raising more cash. Hopefully, Americans will realize what the Canadians already know: HSUS is not to be trusted.”

For a copy of the DFO’s analysis of the snow crab market, or to schedule an interview with Mr. Martosko, contact J.P. Freire at 202-463-7112. A complete profile of HSUS is available online at

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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