Giving Compass’ Take:
• According to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), many seafood imports that are flagged are likely to go back into the supply chain and remain unnoticed.
• How can companies increase transparency standards in the seafood industry?
• Read about the future of seafood bait-to-plate blockchain technology.
Rodent filth, drug residue, undeclared allergens, Salmonella—these are just a handful of the health violations that impelled the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to block large batches of seafood imports in recent years. The violations, once detected through precautionary testing, lead to what are known as “import alerts,” which FDA uses to detain subsequent shipments from the same region or company on the basis that they are likely to present similar concerns.
The violations, once detected through precautionary testing, lead to what are known as “import alerts,” which FDA uses to detain subsequent shipments from the same region or company on the basis that they are likely to present similar concerns. You’d think that, to get taken off such a blacklist, companies would have had to undergo a subsequent FDA inspection. Even FDA’s internal guidelines require as much.
But according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), this rarely happens in practice. In a multiyear review, it found that FDA routinely fails to audit seafood importers whose products re-enter the supply chain after having been pulled out due to potential health violations.
Instead, companies themselves and the private laboratories that they contract are largely responsible for overseeing the resolution of a wide range of issues, from mislabeling to adulteration—an honor system arrangement that raises food safety concerns in a wide-reaching industry.
Read the full article about seafood supply chain by Jessica Fu at The New Food Economy.
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