July 19, 2018

CA State Senator Drafts Bill To Curb Seafood Fraud

Citing reports of widespread seafood mislabeling,California State Senator Alex Padilla has drafted a bill aimed at curbing seafood fraud and improving consumer choice. SB 1138, which would make it illegal to knowingly sell mislabeled seafood, is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Health Committee this afternoon.

Tuna SushiIn a press conference announcing the bill, Padilla cited a recent Oceana survey that revealed Southern California leads the nation in mislabeled fish. The survey found fish mislabeled in: 84 percent of sushi samples in Southern California;  58 percent of restaurants in Northern California; 52 percent of all fish in Los Angeles and Orange Counties; 27 percent of grocery stores visited in Northern California.

Seafood mislabeling puts consumers at risk when they think they are buying one species, but actually eating another that may contain unhealthy levels of mercury or toxins. It also jeopardizes conservation efforts.

“SB 1138 will address the growing problem of seafood mislabeling. To protect our health, economy and oceans it is essential that seafood be labeled accurately,” Sen. Padilla said.

“Seafood consumers need accurate information about what they are buying to make informed decisions about their own health and the health of the ocean,”  Dr. Geoff Shester, California Campaign Director of Oceana, said at the conference. “Senator Padilla’s bill will ensure California consumers don’t get duped when buying seafood.”

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