August 7, 2009 Washington, DC - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is renewing its commitment to crack down on food companies that break the law, a pledge that is earning the agency's new chief praise from the Better Seafood Board (BSB.)
"Committed staff inside the FDA has long understood that short weighting of seafood and species substitution is a food safety issue and that FDA is mandated to police it," said BSB Secretary Lisa Weddig. "Word that the new FDA commissioner plans to make regulatory enforcement a priority is welcome news."
In a speech Thursday FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said, "Companies must have a realistic expectation that if they are crossing the line, they will be caught."
"For too long we've heard the FDA say funding challenges have prevented it from enforcing the laws it's charged with enforcing, " said Weddig. "Finally we're hearing a commitment to a tougher stance. We can only hope that stance applies to the economic integrity issues that have dogged the seafood sector for too long."
Reports say that in the eight weeks since Hamburg started the FDA has already cracked down on a number of non seafood companies allegedly selling fraudulent or dangerous products.
The Better Seafood Board (BSB) was established by the National Fisheries Institute to provide a mechanism for industry’s partners in the supply chain – restaurants, retail operations, producers and processors - to report suppliers suspected of committing economic fraud.