WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., and Don Young, R-Alaska, on Oct. 22 introduced bipartisan legislation to change the market name of “Alaska pollock” to “pollock.”
Lawmakers says this amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is necessary to eliminate confusion for consumers, and to stem the flood of mislabeled fish from less sustainable fisheries that harms U.S. pollock fishermen and the businesses they support.
Herrera says the legislation will help seafood processors along the Lower Columbia River, where U.S. pollock is a major catch.
Under current FDA labeling standards, pollock caught in any part of the world can label be labeled as “Alaskan pollock.” About 40 percent of the fish labeled “Alaskan pollock” available to American consumers is caught in the Russian pollock fishery.
“Americans want to know where their food is coming from. This bill will give American consumers more transparency by closing this FDA loophole that allows Russian pollock from Chinese processors to flood our markets under the label ‘Alaskan pollock,’” Herrera said. “If a mom in Vancouver wants to purchase fish caught sustainably and packaged truthfully, she should have that choice. With this legislative fix, we’re also ensuring that pollock fishing and processing businesses located in Southwest Washington and throughout the U.S. aren’t having to compete with deceptively labeled products from far less sustainable fisheries.”
A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.