The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) on Tuesday denounced the misrepresentation or mischaracterization of seafood sold to U.S. consumers, adding that it’s “fought for years” to improve the market share of wild-caught American shrimp.
ASPA’s comments come after Worldwide Seafood Co., of Highland Park, Ill., and DoRan Seafood, of Independence, La., earlier this month pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act for their part in mislabeling more than USD 100,000 worth of Mexican-caught shrimp as U.S. product between November 2007 and December 2008. Each company faces up to USD 500,000 in fines.
“Consumer confidence is absolutely critical and any action that diminishes consumer trust in our world class product is absolutely unacceptable,” said Dr. David Veal, ASPA’s executive director, on Tuesday. “Our industry has fought tirelessly since the BP oil spill to regain market share and restore faith in our product.”
Veal added that ASPA remains committed to the integrity of the domestic shrimp industry and will continue to work with local, state and federal officials to ensure accurate labeling of U.S. product.