Senator hot about 'impostor lobster'

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
4 October 2006, at 1:00am

US - What's in a name? For Maine lobstermen, tens of millions of dollars, says one senator. Sen. Olympia Snowe, from the nation's leading lobster-producing state, Maine, wants U.S. restaurants to stop calling a type of seafood a lobster, because she says it isn't a lobster at all. Snowe says a 2-inch shellfish known as "langostino lobster" is an impostor to the real thing, and she's asking the Food and Drug Administration to yank approval for restaurants to market the product as lobster on their menus. "Langostino is not lobster, nor should it be marketed as such," Snowe wrote to FDA Commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach. Langostino is Spanish for prawn, but Kristen Millar of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council says the langostino is actually a pelagic crab. To serve it up as lobster is an "insult to Maine and to the lobster industry," Millar said. The European langostino is considered to be a lobster because it has small claws, but the jury is still out on the South American langostino, most of which comes from Chile, said Bob Bayer, executive director of Lobster Institute at the University of Maine. The issue came to light after a California-based restaurant chain, Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill, was sued last year by customers for using the less expensive langostino instead of lobster in its "lobster burrito." Source :CNN