Seafood Fraud: FDA Program Changes and Better Collaboration among Key Federal Agencies Could Improve Detection and Prevention, Report to the Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 744KB]

In this report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) "was asked to determine (1) the actions key federal agencies take to help detect and prevent seafood fraud and (2) the extent to which these key federal agencies collaborate with each other to help detect and prevent seafood fraud. GAO reviewed data and documents from each agency on actions to detect and prevent seafood fraud, and interviewed agency officials and other key stakeholders. GAO is making recommendations to CBP, NMFS, and FDA that are intended to help reduce the prevalence of seafood fraud, increase interagency collaboration, improve information sharing, and reduce overlaps. In commenting on a draft of this report, CBP, NMFS, and FDA generally agreed with the recommendations. [...] In 2007, Americans consumed almost 5 billion pounds of seafood. Most seafood buyers, at many levels--importers, distributors, supermarkets, restaurants, and individual consumers--assume that the seafood they buy is what the seller claims it is. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes seafood products are mislabeled for financial gain--an activity called seafood fraud. Three federal agencies play key roles in detecting and preventing seafood fraud: the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and the Department of Health and Human Services' Food and Drug Administration (FDA)."

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