THE United States Senate decision to include imported (mostly farmed) shrimp in a new seafood monitoring programme has been enthusiastically welcomed by the country’s trade body.
Dr David Veal, executive director of the American Shrimp Processor Association, said: ‘Families in US shrimp communities across the Gulf and South Atlantic are elated that our senators added traceability and real scrutiny of imported shrimp to the Omnibus Appropriations legislation.’
Even though shrimp is the largest imported seafood product, it was left out of a December 2016 traceability programme that included most other species.
But leaders in the Senate and House added the important measure to the bill following appeals from the industry and a number of politicians.
Seafood fraud, especially from imported supplies, remains a major problem in both the US and Canada.
Veal said the success was the result of a relentless, two-year effort led by four southern senators and supported by other members of the Senate.
The processors association spokesman Eddy Hayes added: ‘We sincerely thank them for their leadership and for taking this necessary step to help ensure a level playing field for the domestic shrimp industry.
‘This is a victory for seafood transparency and the American consumer.’
He said the traceability programme ‘will help eliminate unscrupulous foreign producers and importers who trans-ship product from one country through another’.
‘And, our consumers will now hopefully realise a measure of seafood safety similar to that of our counterparts in the EU and Japan.’