United States of America: Bill to coordinate seafood inspection
The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee of the U.S. Senate approved the “Commercial Seafood Consumer Protection Act” (S.50) by voice vote on June 8, 2011. The bill now moves to the Senate floor for action.
S.50 directs the Department of Commerce to coordinate its seafood product safety activities with other appropriate Federal agencies to improve efforts to promote seafood safety and labeling requirements, and to prevent fraud. Nothing in the bill appears prima facie to constitute discrimination against foreign suppliers.
The bill would require the Department of Commerce to reach agreements with all relevant governmental agencies within 180 days of enactment of the bill to strengthen inter-agency cooperation on seafood safety, seafood labeling, and fraud. Among the activities that would have to be intensified and coordinated are coordinated inspections of foreign facilities, cooperative arrangements for examining and testing seafood imports, standardized data on seafood names, inspection records and testing, better coordination of information collection, storage, and analysis on imported seafood, and other requirements.
The bill also directs the department to increase the number of properly certified laboratories in the United States and in foreign countries that export seafood to the United States within 180 days of enactment of the bill. It would be authorized to send inspectors to countries that export seafood to the United States to assess practices and processes being used in connection with the farming, cultivation, harvesting, preparation for market or transportation of such seafood. Inspection teams must report back to Commerce, and these reports will be provided to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to aid in risk-based determinations such as the establishment of inspection priorities of domestic and foreign facilities and the examination and testing of imported seafood. HHS would be authorized to refuse admission of seafood or seafood product imports originating from a country or exporter if those shipments do not meet all applicable requirements. Other seafood shipments from the same source could be subject to increased inspection
Any Evidence-Based Deliberation:
|Is there anything in the public record to suggest that evidence of the effectiveness of the proposed measure was considered during official deliberations?|
|Is there any evidence that alternatives to the proposed measure were considered?|
|Is there anything in the public record that suggests that empirical evidence informed the comparison across the alternatives available to government?|
|Was such evidence identified?|
|Is such evidence publicly available?|
|Did the official decision-maker in question provide an explanation as to why a chosen measure was favoured over alternatives?|
|Is there any evidence to suggest that potentially affected trading partners were consulted before the measures were taken?|
|Is there any evidence that safeguards have been put in place to ensure that implementation of the initiative is transparent and non-discriminatory?|
|Did the government state its intention to review the measure within one year of implementation?|
Date of inception:
GTA Evaluation: Green
See the hyperlinked material in the description.