February 7, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- They say Maryland is for crabs. There's even an image of a crab displayed on the state's driver's licenses. And some Marylanders, including Del. Eric Luedtke, can be pretty particular about them.
"We believe that if you go into a restaurant, you should know if the crab meat you're ordering is from Maryland or from somewhere else," the Montgomery County Democrat says.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a lot of the crab consumed in the United States is wild-caught in U.S. waters. But the federal agency says the U.S. also imports a variety of crab products, from whole crabs to crab meat, from Canada, Asia and South America.
Luedkte has introduced a bill that would require markets and restaurants to identify the state or country of origin of their crabs.
"Maryland consumers are willing to pay a premium for Maryland crabs," Luedtke insists, but the lawmaker says diners and shoppers have a right to know whether it's the real thing.
Luedtke's bill, introduced Wednesday, would prohibit restaurants and markets from knowingly misidentifying fish species and compel them to clearly label fish by their common names.