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Sunday, August 25, 2019

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Louisiana restaurants to disclose use of foreign shrimp and crawfish

Louisiana restaurants to disclose use of foreign shrimp and crawfish

House Bill 335 passes Senate unanimously, moves to Governor for signature

In a move to protect Louisiana consumers from “the health risks associated with chemicals and residues in imported seafood,” the Louisiana Senate unanimously passed House Bill 335 (34-0) requiring restaurants to disclose whether they serve imported shrimp or crawfish.

The bill, authored by Rep. Jerry “Truck” Gisclair (D) Larose, previously passed the Louisiana House unanimously. Gisclair has said this law would benefit consumers and build awareness for local products.

It now heads to Governor Jon Bel Edwards for signature.

The bill, which was strongly supported by the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) on behalf of the entire wild-caught domestic shrimp industry, is a major victory for consumer transparency.

The U.S. Government does not regulate seafood disclosures at the restaurant level, and Louisiana is taking the lead with this law requiring seafood origin information.

Any foodservice establishment serving imported crawfish or shrimp must now display on their menu, or with a paper clip addition to the menu, that the crawfish or shrimp are foreign.

Those who do not use a menu will have to display a prominent sign with the same information near the entrance. The Louisiana Department of Health will enforce the provisions of the bill through its foodservice health inspection programs.

“The U.S. has very limited capacity to inspect the billions of pounds of imported shrimp entering our borders each year. In 2015, only .1 % of imported shrimp were inspected for the presence of illegal veterinary drugs used in most foreign aquaculture,” said Dr. David Veal, executive director of the American Shrimp Processors Association. “At the same time, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing public health problem impacted by persistent exposure to these drugs.”