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California sues five seafood companies for selling fish containing lead, cadmium without warnings

SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sued five seafood companies on Tuesday, alleging they have sold fish that contains lead and cadmium in the state without legally required warnings.

The state’s lawsuit alleges the companies violated Proposition 65, which prohibits exposing consumers to chemicals that could cause cancer or reproductive problems without clear warnings.

The suit says the California Department of Justice found unacceptable levels of lead or cadmium in fresh and frozen clams, cuttlefish, eel, octopus, oysters, periwinkle and sea squirt.

The defendants named in the suit are importers, distributors and wholesalers of seafood including Clearwater Seafoods, Rhee Bros., Seaquest Seafood Corporation, Jayone Foods and Pacific American Fish Company.

Email messages left with the companies seeking comment were not immediately returned.

The suit also claims the companies broke California’s unfair competition law and its prohibition on fraudulent business practices.

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