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The seafood you’re eating may not be what you think. Who’s in charge of regulating the United States seafood supply?

In the United States, an overlapping patchwork of laws, regulations, and government bodies attempt to stem the flow of fraudulent seafood. This piecemeal approach mixes transparency/traceability measures, food safety regulations, and consumer protection laws together to combat increasing issues of seafood adulteration and deception about origin. However, the United States has no one overarching authority regulating the seafood industry—which has led to significant gaps in oversight.

Studies have shown that in the US alone, between 16 and 75 percent of all seafood is mislabeled. How does this happen?

Authored by Center for Agriculture and Food Systems Faculty Fellow Emily J. Spiegel and Director Laurie J. Beyranevand, professor of law, "Seafood Fraud: Analysis of Legal Approaches in the United States" provides a comprehensive review of how seafood authenticity is regulated in the United States, analyzing key laws, regulations, and programs that inform seafood policy. Examining both the benefits and drawbacks of a piecemeal approach to regulation, this report offers recommendations for domestic and international policymakers to improve prevention and detection, enforcement, and supply chain management.

This report was funded by the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture.

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