Oceana, the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans, applauds United States Representative Edward Markey (D-MA) today for introducing the Safety and Fraud Enforcement for Seafood (SAFE Seafood) Act to address the growing problem of seafood fraud, which can come in many different forms – from mislabeling fish and falsifying documents, to adding too much ice to packaging. If passed, this bill would help stop seafood fraud by requiring full traceability of all seafood sold in the U.S., from boat to plate.
This legislation follows the release of a new Oceana study, which found that one-third, or 33 percent, of the 1,215 fish samples it collected from 674 retail outlets in 21 states were mislabeled, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. Oceana campaign director Beth Lowell released the following statement of support for the SAFE Seafood Act:
“Seafood fraud is a national problem that requires federal attention. Rep. Markey should be applauded for his swift action to stop seafood fraud in the U.S.
Seafood fraud not only cheats consumers, but it also hurts honest fishermen and seafood businesses along the supply chain. Oceana is calling on Congress to pass the SAFE Seafood Act to ensure that the seafood sold in the U.S. is safe, legally caught and honestly labeled.
Americans deserve to know more about the seafood they purchase, including the species name, where, when, and how it was caught, if it was farmed or previously frozen, and if any additives were used during processing.
By requiring fish to be tracked from boat to plate, the SAFE Seafood Act will protect our wallets, our health and our oceans.”
Rep. Markey was joined in the legislation by original co-sponsors Walter Jones (R-NC), John Tierney (D-MA), Bill Keating (D-MA), Lois Capps (D-CA) and Jo Bonner (R-AL).
Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) is expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate in the coming days.
To access Oceana’s national seafood study, please visit www.oceana.org/fraudnationwide.