WASHINGTON—In a huge win for Louisiana families who make their living shrimping and fishing, the U.S. Senate voted 87-11 today in favor of an amendment to H.R. 6147 offered by U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and John Kennedy (R-LA) to boost the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) inspections of foreign seafood coming into the United States. Currently, only about 2 percent of imported seafood is inspected.
“Louisiana shrimpers are being undercut by inferior, uninspected seafood from foreign countries,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This measure increases the FDA’s ability to inspect foreign seafood coming into our country, protecting American consumers and Louisiana workers.”
“Louisiana produces the best seafood in the world. Unfortunately our commercial fishermen have to compete with foreign fishermen who are unfairly subsidized by their governments, face virtually no environmental regulations and pump their product full of drugs. Other countries know they can cheat because the U.S. can only inspect a fraction of what’s coming in. That’s about to change,” said Sen. Kennedy.
The amendment addresses concerns raised by Louisiana shrimpers, and allocates $3.1 million more in existing FDA funds toward inspections of imported seafood in fiscal year 2019, a 26 percent increase.