To address consumer concerns about the safety of food, the Food and Drug Administration plans to focus on the growing problem of economically-motivated adulteration (EMA) of foods.  FDA is defining EMA as “the fraudulent, intentional substitution or addition of a substance in a product for the purpose of increasing the apparent value of the product or reducing the cost of its production, i.e., for economic gain.”  This includes the use of antibiotics, pesticides, and other chemicals in farm-raised seafood.

SSA argued in comments submitted to FDA that to effectively control public health risks, EMA must simultaneously address the fraudulent mislabeling of country of origin of seafood imported into the United States.  The consequences of mislabeling country of origin of seafood are both economic and health-related for consumers because the use of antibiotics and other banned substances in aquaculture is more prevalent in foreign production of seafood.  The intentional mislabeling of imported shrimp gives consumers false confidence that they are receiving safe, wholesome, natural shrimp and undermines the premium price for U.S. wild-caught shrimp—all for the economic benefit of a few.