FDA busts Ill. processor for fraud
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday accused a Bridgewater, Ill., seafood processor of fraud.
According to the FDA, Registry Steaks & Seafood increased the weight of a variety of frozen shrimp products by adding an ice glaze and/or marinade glaze and substituted northern rock sole for grouper.
In a warning letter, the agency gave the processor 15 days to correct the violations of the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or risk closure and/or seizure of product.
The Better Seafood Bureau lauded the move, saying the FDA is sending a signal that the days of lax enforcement of seafood fraud are over.
“This is certainly not the first situation that FDA is aware of, but it is the first time in many years that the FDA is doing something about it. The honest folks in the seafood industry are getting what they asked for — an opportunity for the regulatory process to work,” said Lisa Wedding, BSB secretary.
“We’re experiencing a shift in the FDA’s attitude toward enforcing laws designed to ensure consumers get the product they pay for,” she added.
In February, the FDA reminded processors that the net weight of seafood products “may not include the weight of glaze.” A month later, the Government Accountability Office found the FDA wasn’t doing enough to combat seafood fraud.
Then in August, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg announced she was making regulatory enforcement a priority.