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Strong regulations exist for the seafood industry

US - In response to the article 'Regulations needed for healthy seafood', published recently in Louisiana's Daily Advertiser, Dr. Barbara Blakistone, a food scientist and regulatory expert with the National Fisheries Institute says that seafood is one of the most regulated sources of food.

She works to ensure consumers have access to healthy and sustainable sources of seafood — including fish from global sources such as China and says that article failed to recognize the safety measures in place.

From water to table, seafood must adhere to the following regulations:
  • US. FDA Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, which puts in place strict actions to prevent safety hazards.
  • Current Good Manufacturing Practices, which address issues including personal hygiene among workers, sanitary processing plants and clean water sources.
  • The Centre for Veterinary Medicine of the FDA, which approves the medical treatments and drugs that can be used in aquaculture operations.

Seafood may also be regulated through:
  • Best Aquaculture Practices, which certify social, environmental and food safety standards at shrimp farms worldwide.
  • US Department of Commerce — Seafood Inspection Program, which provides voluntary inspection on fishing boats, in processing plants and at retail.

Ms Blakistone says that many seafood importers from the US also visit overseas suppliers - both farms and processing plants - to ensure that their trading partners are following US food laws.

"As seafood demand grows, due to its overwhelming health benefits, global trade will continue to be a safe and vital method of providing a variety of seafood to consumers," she says.