Southern Shrimp Alliance Commends Rep. Graves and Rep. Peltola for Demanding Action on Indian Shrimp

On Friday, Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) and Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola (D-AK) urged President Biden to stop all imports of Indian shrimp into the United States until the Administration “can make a coordinated, whole-of-government effort to protect the American seafood supply.”

Citing the reports of Corporate Accountability Lab, The Outlaw Ocean Project, and the Associated Press, Reps. Graves and Peltola demanded action to address the confirmation of severe food safety issues and labor violations in Indian shrimp processing facilities. Further, the members of Congress observed that Joshua Farinella, the former employee of Choice Canning turned whistleblower, presented “damning evidence” regarding that company’s treatment of contaminated shrimp and its labor practices.

The letter to President Biden explained that concerns regarding Indian shrimp existed well before the issuance of these reports last week. Because of the severity of these concerns, Congress was actively considering legislative proposals such as H.R. 4547, The Laws Ensuring Safe Shrimp (LESS) Act, which would provide routine additional funding to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to increase the testing of shrimp for banned veterinary drugs as well as fund further Section 32 purchases of U.S. domestic shrimp by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Closing the letter, Rep. Graves and Rep. Peltola wrote:

“It is imperative that your Administration take swift action to protect American consumers. We urge you to implement a ban on the import of Indian shrimp until the situation can be further analyzed. Our shrimpers here at home . . . can help fill the void and provide safe and healthy shrimp to the American market while we work to ensure the safety of our seafood supply.”

Commenting on the request, in a press release issued today Rep. Graves explained: “We are fighting to protect free and fair trade by ensuring that foreign farmed imports aren’t given an unfair advantage while also threatening Americans’ health. Meanwhile, American shrimpers follow all the rules to keep our health and fisheries safe, and wild, healthy American shrimp are being boxed out of U.S. markets. We need to be doing everything we can to stop bad imports from reaching consumers, especially when we have high-quality, healthy shrimp right here at home.”

Rep. Peltola added: “Alaska may not be a major producer of shrimp, but we rely on seafood in a similar way to communities along the Gulf of Mexico. . . Congressman Graves and I have spoken at length about our domestic seafood industries being hurt by a flood of imported and unhealthy seafood products – I’m proud to co-lead his letter to support American shrimpers.”

“Once again, the shrimp industry is grateful to Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) for tirelessly fighting for shrimpers not only in south Louisiana but throughout the country,” said John Williams, Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “We also greatly appreciate the support of Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola (D-AK) and the recognition that all commercial fishermen, wherever they work in this country, face the same existential threats from cheap, unsafe seafood imports.”

Read Rep. Graves and Rep. Peltola’s letter to President Biden (Mar. 22, 2024) here:

Read the press release from the Office of Representative Garret Graves (R-LA), Graves and Peltola Urge Biden to Immediately Halt Unsafe Shrimp Imports (Mar. 26, 2024) here:

Review details regarding H.R. 4547, The Laws Ensuring Safe Shrimp Act, here:

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