Group Pushing Shrimp Story Chooses Accusations over Action

Solidarity Center Continues to Conceal Shrimp Story Specifics

May 28, 2008 Washington In testimony during a public hearing at the U.S. Department of Labor today the AFL-CIO backed Solidarity Center again voiced accusations of ongoing abuses in the Thai and Bangladesh shrimp industry, without providing specifics. The Department of Labor held the hearing because it is required by U.S. law to develop a list of imported goods that are suspected of being produced by child and forced labor.

Reached in Thailand where he is touring shrimp operations, meeting with officials from the U.S. Embassy, members of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Thai Ministry of Labor, National Fisheries Institute (NFI) President John Connelly said, the seafood community takes these accusations seriously and we are working hard to find out if they have merit. But without specifics from those making the accusations our efforts are being needlessly frustrated.

The Solidarity Center claims it is withholding detailed information that supports its allegations because it does not, want to release information that could be used by U.S. retailers or importers to abandon particular plants.”

This is a disappointing development, said NFIs Director of International Affairs Stetson Tinkham who was at todays hearing. If these allegations are true the seafood community is uniquely positioned to affect change. But simply repeating allegations without backing them up with specifics does little to solve the alleged problems and instead erodes the credibility of the claims.

For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit: www.AboutSeafood.com.

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Contact Information

Gavin Gibbons

(703) 752-8891

ggibbons@nfi.org