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Rep. Chip Brown sponsors bill requiring labeling on seafood products

Under current state law, seafood suppliers are required to inform grocery stores and restaurants about the country of origin.

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State Rep. Chip Brown, R – Hollinger’s Island, announced on Monday that he has pre-filed legislation designed to support the state’s commercial seafood industry by requiring restaurants and grocery stores to disclose the country of origin for seafood products they sell to consumers.

“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,” Brown said. “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.”

Under current state law, seafood suppliers are required to inform grocery stores and restaurants about the country of origin for their products, but there is no mandate for those food service establishments to pass along the information to consumers and customers.

Brown’s bill would require grocery stores to clearly provide the country of origin on seafood labels or on the bins in which the products are displayed for sale.

Restaurants would be required to disclose the country of origin on the menu listing for seafood dishes they sell or on conspicuous signage plainly visible to diners and patrons.

Advertisements for seafood products and dishes sold by food service establishments would also be required to include the country of origin information.

Additionally, the same methods outlined above must be used to disclose if fish or shrimp products are farm-raised or caught in the wild.

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The State Health Officer would be assigned enforcement authority under the bill’s provisions, and could assign civil penalties, including monetary fines, to ensure compliance.

The 2024 regular legislative session is scheduled to convene on February 6.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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