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Tuna Gets a New Voice

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By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, July 13, 2006

Just don't say she's fishy or that she has good taste like Charlie the Tuna. Anne Forristall Luke is the new president of the United States Tuna Foundation, succeeding David Burney , who retired after 30 years as head of operations.

The foundation represents the canned tuna processors and tuna fishermen.

"I find I've been eating a little more [tuna]," Luke said, gamely answering questions about her tuna preferences. "I like canned tuna. I'm big into working out and fitness. I like it with water. I'm a freak about fat content."

But she diplomatically noted that the oil that some canned tuna is packed in is good for you.

Before joining the tuna folks, Luke was a principal at MGN Inc. , a government relations shop. Earlier, she had worked in the then-Land and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice and worked for then-House member Dennis Eckart (D-Ohio) and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Her post as president is a new one for the foundation, whose previous head was an executive director based in California.

Luke said she will be focusing on "reaching out to Congress" and increasing the tuna industry's profile in Washington.

The foundation will be launching "an aggressive" effort to correct what she said was a lot of misinformation floating about regarding mercury and tuna. As part of that effort, it has hired Burson-Marsteller to help with a multiyear public affairs-education effort to reach consumers and environmentalists.

(Early last month, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency reiterated an advisory that pregnant women and young children should eat as much as 12 ounces a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are low in mercury, including canned light tuna. Albacore, or "white," tuna should be limited to six ounces a week, the advisory said.)

She will also be involved in fisheries, trade and nutrition issues.

Luke said: "This is my first fishing expedition."

Ridge on Board

Former homeland security secretary Tom Ridge has joined the board of directors of Iridium Satellite.


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