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Alabama Legislature passes seafood labeling bill

The bill requires restaurants to disclose if the seafood they use in preparing dishes are domestic or imported products.

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The Alabama Legislature on Wednesday awarded final passage to a measure by State Rep. Chip Brown, R – Hollinger’s Island, that requires restaurants to disclose if the seafood they use in preparing dishes are domestic or imported products.

“The Legislature recognizes the important role that Alabama’s commercial seafood industry plays in our economy, and with foreign caught products flooding the U.S. market, it is essential that we support it, protect it, and promote it,” Brown said. “By requiring disclosure if seafood is domestic or imported, we can encourage the use of products caught in Alabama and the U.S. while ensuring that consumers are better informed about the food they consume.”

Brown’s bill, which was carried in the Senate by Sen. David Sessions, R – Grand Bay, requires restaurants to disclose whether seafood is domestic or imported on the menu listing for dishes they sell or on conspicuous signage plainly visible to diners and patrons.

Advertisements for seafood products and dishes sold by food service establishments are also required to include the information under the bill’s provisions.

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

The State Health Officer is tasked with enforcement authority and could assign civil penalties, including monetary fines, to ensure compliance.

The legislation now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature.

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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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