Senate introduces seafood traceability bill
US Senator Mark Begich has been applauded by Oceana for introducing the Safety and Fraud Enforcement for Seafood (SAFE Seafood) Act.
Senator Begich introduced the bill, a companion to the SAFE Act recently introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Edward Markey, during the International Boston Seafood Show this week. If passed, the bill would fight the growing problem of seafood fraud by ensuring that seafood sold in the US is tracked from boat to plate, while providing more information to consumers at the point of purchase.
A recent study by Oceana found that one-third of the 1,215 fish samples it collected from 674 retail outlets in 21 states were mislabeled, according to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines.
Oceana campaign director Beth Lowell said, “Every US consumer deserves to know that their seafood is safe, legally caught and honestly labeled. When seafood fraud occurs, however, it not only hurts consumers’ wallets, but also every responsible fisherman and seafood business in the supply chain that plays by the rules.
“We applaud Sen. Begich for taking a stand against this national, widespread problem. By introducing these bills, Rep. Markey and Sen. Begich have shown they believe stopping seafood fraud should be a national priority. Oceana is now calling on Congress to pass these bills.”