Inouye offers bill to ensure safe imports of seafood
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye introduced a bill March 4 he said would help prevent contaminated seafood products from being commercially distributed in the United States.
Inouye, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said in a news release that the average American eats about 16 pounds of fish and shellfish each year.
"Given this fact, it is essential that Americans have confidence in the safety and quality of the seafood they consume," he said. "Yet just last year, Americans faced news reports of tainted seafood imports reaching their kitchen tables."
The Hawaii Democrat's proposed Commercial Seafood Consumer Protection Act would increase the number and capacity of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration laboratories involved with the seafood inspection program under the National Marine Fisheries Service.
He said the bill directs the secretaries of Commerce and Health and Human Services to work together to provide a better system for safe seafood imports.
The new system would provide a structure to inspect foreign facilities, examine and test imported seafood and provide technical assistance and training to foreign facilities and governments, Inouye said.
It would also expedite seafood imports from countries that continually maintain high standards, he said.
Joining Inouye in introducing the bill on March 4 was Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, the committee vice chairman.