Target: Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of Food and Drugs
Goal: Demand documentation of seafood origin
Although current standards of food labeling call for seafood to be monitored for safety in terms of consumption, these standards do not require that the country of origin be included in the label. This lack of information enables illegally caught seafood to make it to dinner tables. Country of origin must be added to consumer labeling so as to educate consumers as to whether their dinner is coming from sustainable stocks or from countries that continue to ignore fishing regulations.
Up to 32 percent of imported seafood includes catch that is poached. U.S. Inspectors do not receive documentation of imported fish origin as it comes across our borders, thereby allowing illegal fish to pass through for consumer consumption. Such action allows countries and pirates selling black market fish to continue operating and profiting. As long as their product continues to make them money, these offenders will continue their overfishing habits.
The U.S. public is under the assumption that the seafood they are purchasing is approved, as it has made it through FDA inspections. Requiring origin of seafood to appear on labels will not only educate the consumer in terms of the right to knowledge of from where dinner is coming, but will also make it more difficult for illegal operations to pass their poached goods into an economy with a seafood consumption only second to China. Sign the petition to call upon the Food and Drug Administration to demand proper documentation of seafood origin.
Dear Ms. Hamburg,
President Obama has recently supported initiatives to combat seafood fraud and pirate fishing. I am writing to ask you to work in conjunction with this decision by requiring the origin of seafood to be listed on food labels.
Up to 32 percent of illegal seafood makes it to U.S. dinner tables because inspectors do not receive documentation on the origin of imported seafood, thereby enabling illegal fish to make it into the American market. This information must be demanded and the consumer is entitled to the knowledge of whether their seafood comes from a sustainable harvest or has been brought through by countries known for poaching.
Making this documentation a requirement on seafood is a step in the right direction to ensure the public that their food is not contributing to overfishing or illegal catch.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Daniel Case via Wikipedia Commons