Seafood labeling law designed boost state seafood econeomy

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Delcambre is a major hub for Louisiana’s shrimp industry.

Local fishermen say imported seafood hurts the state’s seafood industry.

And that’s why many are celebrating a new state law.

The Louisiana seafood industry has an economic impact of $2.4 billion.

The new seafood labeling law is another weapon in the fight against imported shrimp and crawfish.

The seafood industry is a vital part of the state’s culture and economy.

HB-335, signed by Governor John Bel Edwards in June, requires food service establishments that serve imported shrimp or crawfish to put up signs or notices in menus letting customers know where the seafood came from.

State representative Jerry Gisclair of Larose introduced the bill.

“I think as Louisianians, we should have the right to know what foods we are consuming when we go to a restaurant,” he said.

Some restaurants, like Crazy ‘Bout Crawfish in Breaux Bridge, only sell local seafood.

“If we try to step out, a different country or anything, the locals will tear us up. They know the difference and they want the best, and the best is usually getting it local.,” says owner Megan Buckner.

Ten years ago, the state legislature declared imported shrimp could pose health risks because of antibiotics, radiation, and other toxins found in some foreign seafood.

“The restaurants are really committing fraud on their customers. They’re using our Cajun Culture to sell these antibiotic shrimp,” says Grand Isle Shrimper Dean Blanchard.

Governor Edwards says the law will help Louisiana’s seafood industry remain strong and competitive.

The state department of health will begin to enforce the new shrimp and crawfish labeling law on September 1st.

A restaurant that doesn’t let people know they’re serving imported shrimp and crawfish would be violating the state sanitary code.

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