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Washington, DC February 20, 2013 – As organizations prepare to release reports on fish fraud, the country’s largest seafood trade association says there is a fundamental problem with what some claim is the answer to the challenge of mislabeled seafood.
“The Food and Drug Administration needs to fulfill its mandate to fight food fraud. That means enforcing laws that are already on the books,” said National Fisheries Institute President John Connelly. “Calling for new laws to fight fish fraud suggests groups don’t fully understand the issue at hand. If drivers are accused of running a stop sign you don’t simply put up another stop sign, you station a cop on the corner and start cracking down.”
The FDA maintains a consistent and scientifically sound list of acceptable market names for seafood. For retailers and restaurants there should be no question as to what you can legally call any one fish.
Reputable members of the seafood community have been fighting seafood fraud, on their own, since 2007 through the Better Seafood Board (BSB.)
“Saying there is a problem is not the same as solving the problem,” said BSB Secretary Lisa Weddig. “Our members have been aggressive in rooting out bad actors and pushing regulators to enforce laws designed to stop this type of activity.”
The BSB notes that a menu or retail label, a DNA test and the invoice are all required to show where the problem exists in the seafood supply chain. Only providing two out of three raises questions but provides few of the sought after answers.
Consumers should ask restaurants and retailers if they source their seafood from a BSB member.