Members of Congress from Maryland and Virginia want the Obama administration to make sure its work to fight seafood fraud includes language to combat what they say is the mislabeling of crab meat. But the main seafood industry trade association is against the idea, saying existing laws are strong enough to deal with the problems fish fraud poses.
Supporters of stronger crab labeling rules say lump crab imported from foreign countries is repacked at facilities in the United States and then labeled as a “product of the United States.” They say this is deceptive and harmful to Americans harvesting blue crab from the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. “As a result, domestically harvested crabmeat is competing against less expensive foreign crabmeat fraudulently labeled as a ‘product of the United States.’ Deceptive labeling misleads consumers and threatens the livelihood of the watermen in our states,” said the letter to President Barack Obama from U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.).
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