Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Chairman of the National Lt. Governors’ Meeting Today Worked to Promote and Protect Harvesting of American Seafood
July 19, 2019
WILMINGTON, DE. – Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser put promotion and protection of Louisiana and American seafood front and center today before second-in-command state officials from across the nation.
In a resolution before the nation’s Lt. Governors, Nungesser unanimously won support of the members of the National Lieutenant Governors Association when he urged the USDA and FDA to significantly increase seafood inspection where it is harvested and at our borders and require all imported seafood to be fully certified to ensure compliance with our nation’s food and drug laws. A Louisiana 2017 study conducted by the U.S. Governmental Accountability Office found that only a limited number of inspections are performed on foreign seafood processors and farmers, and foreign seafood is often treated with large doses of antibiotics and other chemicals to treat diseases and enhance their growth.
Nungesser’s toughest measure in the resolution calls upon the USDA and FDA to consider imposing a five to ten cent inspection fee per pound on all imported seafood to allow for hiring more inspectors of all imported seafood. Said Nungesser, “We need to level the playing field for our seafood harvesters, processors and distributors. We need to further protect the American citizens from potential health hazards if foreign seafood is not properly inspected or tested.” The resolution noted, “… the American Commercial Seafood Producers are at a competitive disadvantage with foreign producers who are not held to the same standards and the lack of inspection creates a tangible threat to our national security and the health and safety of American citizens.”
Added Nungesser, “I personally believe we have the best seafood in the nation coming from the waters in and around Louisiana. I also know how hard it is for our fishermen and restaurateurs to fight the invasion of low cost, lightly screened foreign seafood. I hope the collective voice of Lt. Governors from across the nation will give the USDA and FDA confidence and inspiration to protect our nation’s food supply against contaminated foreign seafood. We will stand strong behind them if they do.”