A lawmaker in the U.S. state of Alabama has introduced a bill that would require grocery stores and restaurants to show where seafood sold in their stores came from.
“The seafood industry is essential to the economy throughout Alabama’s Gulf Coast region, and with foreign-caught products flooding the U.S. market, we must take every step to both support it and protect it,” State Representative Chip Brown (R-Hollingers Island) said, according to the Alabama Daily News. “By requiring disclosure of the country of origin for seafood, we can encourage the use of products caught in Alabama while ensuring that consumers are better informed about the food they consume.”
Brown’s legislation would force businesses to notify consumers of the country of origin of seafood sold at their establishments. It would also require businesses to inform customers whether the fish or shrimp they’re consuming is wild-caught or farm-raised. If passed, the legislation would enable the Alabama State Department of Public Health to enforce the rules with civil penalties.
Brown prefiled the bill 30 January ahead of the legislative session starting the week of 5 February.
The U.S. state of Louisiana has a similar law on the books requiring restaurants to indicate on their menu if the shrimp or crawfish they are selling is imported, but the government has had difficulty enforcing the provision. In 2023, a Louisiana Illuminator investigation found that the state had not issued a single fine despite issuing 2,671 citations for violations. Passed in 2019, the law did not include any penalties for violations.
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