April 14, 2014
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — When the weather warms and the South Carolina humidity hangs like a soggy blanket along the coast, you can often find an entrepreneur selling shrimp out of the back of a pickup truck by the road with a hand-scrawled sign promoting it as both fresh and local. There’s a chance it’s neither.
And the fresh, local, red snapper you order as you watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico from the deck of a seafood place in Florida may just turn out to be none of the above.
In a nation where 92 percent of seafood is imported and labeling fraud is rife, both state and federal lawmakers are moving to pass laws to help make sure customers are getting the seafood they are paying for.
A seafood labeling law in the South Carolina General Assembly would mean that, among other things, what is advertised as fresh local shrimp is what it says — not imported and frozen. It would make it a misdemeanor to intentionally mislabel seafood.