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Text of the Commercial Seafood Consumer Protection Act

This bill was introduced on June 8, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jan 25, 2011 (Introduced).

This is not the latest text of this bill.

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Source: GPO

S 50 IS

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 50

To strengthen Federal consumer product safety programs and activities with respect to commercially marketed seafood by directing the Secretary of Commerce to coordinate with the Federal Trade Commission and other appropriate Federal agencies to strengthen and coordinate those programs and activities.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 25 (legislative day, JANUARY 5), 2011

Mr. INOUYE (for himself, Ms. SNOWE, and Mr. VITTER) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportaion


A BILL

To strengthen Federal consumer product safety programs and activities with respect to commercially marketed seafood by directing the Secretary of Commerce to coordinate with the Federal Trade Commission and other appropriate Federal agencies to strengthen and coordinate those programs and activities.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Commercial Seafood Consumer Protection Act’.

SEC. 2. COMMERCIALLY MARKETED SEAFOOD CONSUMER PROTECTION SAFETY NET.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Commerce shall, in coordination with the Federal Trade Commission and other appropriate Federal agencies, and consistent with the international obligations of the United States, strengthen Federal consumer protection activities for ensuring that commercially distributed seafood in the United States meets the food quality and safety requirements of applicable Federal laws.

    (b) Interagency Agreements-

      (1) In general- Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary and other appropriate Federal agencies shall execute memoranda of understanding or other agreements to strengthen interagency cooperation on seafood safety, seafood labeling, and seafood fraud.

      (2) Scope of agreements- The agreements shall include provisions, as appropriate for each such agreement, for--

        (A) cooperative arrangements for examining and testing seafood imports that leverage the resources, capabilities, and authorities of each party to the agreement;

        (B) coordination of inspections of foreign facilities to increase the percentage of imported seafood and seafood facilities inspected;

        (C) standardizing data on seafood names, inspection records, and laboratory testing to improve interagency coordination;

        (D) coordination of the collection, storage, analysis, and dissemination of all applicable information, intelligence, and data related to the importation, exportation, transportation, sale, harvest, processing, or trade of seafood in order to detect and investigate violations under applicable Federal laws, and to carry out the provisions of this Act;

        (E) developing a process for expediting imports of seafood into the United States from foreign countries and exporters that consistently adhere to the highest standards for ensuring seafood safety;

        (F) coordination to track shipments of seafood in the distribution chain within the United States;

        (G) enhancing labeling requirements and methods of assuring compliance with such requirements to clearly identity species and prevent fraudulent practices;

        (H) a process by which officers and employees of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may be commissioned by the head of any other appropriate Federal agency to conduct or participate in seafood examinations and investigations under applicable Federal laws administered by such other agency;

        (I) the sharing of information concerning observed non-compliance with United States seafood requirements domestically and in foreign countries and new regulatory decisions and policies that may affect regulatory outcomes;

        (J) conducting joint training on subjects that affect and strengthen seafood inspection effectiveness by Federal authorities;

        (K) sharing, to the maximum extent allowable by law, all applicable information, intelligence, and data related to the importation, exportation, transportation, sale, harvest, processing, or trade of seafood in order to detect and investigate violations under applicable Federal laws, or otherwise to carry out the provisions of this Act; and

        (L) outreach to private testing laboratories, seafood industries, and the public on Federal efforts to enhance seafood safety and compliance with labeling requirements, including education on Federal requirements for seafood safety and labeling and information on how these entities can work with appropriate Federal agencies to enhance and improve seafood inspection and assist in detecting and preventing seafood fraud and mislabeling.

      (3) Annual reports on implementation of agreements- The Secretary, the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, and the heads of other appropriate Federal agencies that are parties to agreements executed under paragraph (1) shall submit, jointly or severally, an annual report to the Congress concerning--

        (A) specific efforts taken pursuant to the agreements;

        (B) the budget and personnel necessary to strengthen seafood safety and labeling and prevent seafood fraud; and

        (C) any additional authorities necessary to improve seafood safety and labeling and prevent seafood fraud.

    (c) Marketing, Labeling, and Fraud Report- Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission shall submit a joint report to the Congress on consumer protection and enforcement efforts with respect to seafood marketing and labeling in the United States. The report shall include--

      (1) findings with respect to the scope of seafood fraud and deception in the United States market and its impact on consumers;

      (2) information on how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Trade Commission can work together more effectively to address fraud and unfair or deceptive acts or practices with respect to seafood;

      (3) detailed information on the enforcement and consumer outreach activities undertaken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Trade Commission during the preceding year pursuant to this Act; and

      (4) an examination of the scope of unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the United States market with respect to foods other than seafood and whether additional enforcement authority or activity is warranted.

    (d) NOAA Seafood Inspection and Marking Coordination-

      (1) Deceptive marketing and fraud- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shall report deceptive seafood marketing and fraud to the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to an agreement under subsection (b).

      (2) Application with existing agreements- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to impede, minimize, or otherwise affect any agreement or agreements regarding cooperation and information sharing in the inspection of fish and fishery products and establishments between the Department of Commerce and the Department of Health and Human Services in effect on the date of enactment of this Act. Within 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall submit a joint report to the Congress on implementation of any such agreement or agreements, including the extent to which the Food and Drug Administration has taken into consideration information resulting from inspections conducted by the Department of Commerce in making risk-based determinations such as the establishment of inspection priorities for domestic and foreign facilities and the examination and testing of imported seafood.

      (3) Coordination with sea grant program- The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shall ensure that the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program is coordinated with the Sea Grant Program to provide outreach to States, consumers, and the seafood industry on seafood testing, seafood labeling, and seafood substitution, and strategies to combat mislabeling and fraud.

SEC. 3. CERTIFIED LABORATORIES.

    Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall increase the number of laboratories certified to the standards of the Food and Drug Administration in the United States and in countries that export seafood to the United States for the purpose of analyzing seafood and ensuring that the laboratories, including Federal, State, and private facilities, comply with applicable Federal laws. Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce shall publish in the Federal Register a list of certified laboratories. The Secretary shall update and publish the list no less frequently than annually.

SEC. 4. NOAA LABORATORIES.

    In any fiscal year beginning after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary may increase the number and capacity of laboratories operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration involved in carrying out testing and other activities under this Act to the extent that the Secretary determines that increased laboratory capacity is necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act and as provided for in appropriations Acts.

SEC. 5. CONTAMINATED SEAFOOD.

    (a) REFUSAL OF ENTRY- The Secretary of Health and Human Services may issue an order refusing admission into the United States of all imports of seafood or seafood products originating from a country or exporter if the Secretary determines that shipments of such seafood or seafood products do not meet the requirements established under applicable Federal law.

    (b) INCREASED TESTING- If the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines that seafood imports originating from a country may not meet the requirements of Federal law, and determines that there is a lack of adequate certified laboratories to provide for the entry of shipments pursuant to section 3, then the Secretary may order an increase in the percentage of shipments tested of seafood originating from such country to improve detection of potential violations of such requirements.

    (c) ALLOWANCE OF INDIVIDUAL SHIPMENTS FROM EXPORTING COUNTRY OR EXPORTER- Notwithstanding an order under subsection (a) with respect to seafood originating from a country or exporter, the Secretary may permit individual shipments of seafood originating in that country or from that exporter to be admitted into the United States if--

      (1) the exporter presents evidence from a laboratory certified by the Secretary that a shipment of seafood meets the requirements of applicable Federal laws; and

      (2) the Secretary, or other agent of a Federal agency authorized to conduct inspections of seafood, has inspected the shipment and has found that the shipment and the conditions of manufacturing meet the requirements of applicable Federal laws.

    (d) CANCELLATION OF ORDER- The Secretary may cancel an order under subsection (a) with respect to seafood exported from a country or exporter if all shipments into the United States under subsection (c) of seafood originating in that country or from that exporter more than 1 year after the date on which the Secretary issued the order have been found, under the procedures described in subsection (c), to meet the requirements of Federal law. If the Secretary determines that an exporter has failed to comply with the requirements of an order under subsection (a), the 1-year period in the preceding sentence shall run from the date of that determination rather than the date on which the order was issued.

    (e) EFFECT- This section shall be in addition to, and shall have no effect on, the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) with respect to seafood, seafood products, or any other product.

SEC. 6. INSPECTION TEAMS.

    (a) Inspection of Foreign Sites- The Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, may send 1 or more inspectors to a country or exporter from which seafood exported to the United States originates. The inspection team shall assess practices and processes being used in connection with the farming, cultivation, harvesting, preparation for market, or transportation of such seafood and may provide technical assistance related to the requirements established under applicable Federal laws to address seafood fraud and safety. The inspection team shall prepare a report for the Secretary of Commerce with its findings. The Secretary of Commerce shall make a copy of the report available to the country or exporter that is the subject of the report and provide a 30-day period during which the country or exporter may provide a rebuttal or other comments on the findings to the Secretary.

    (b) Distribution and Use of Report- The Secretary shall provide the report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services as information for consideration in making risk-based determinations such as the establishment of inspection priorities of domestic and foreign facilities and the examination and testing of imported seafood. The Secretary shall provide the report to the Executive Director of the Federal Trade Commission for consideration in making recommendations to the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission regarding consumer protection to prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices in the marketplace.

SEC. 7. SEAFOOD IDENTIFICATION.

    (a) Standarized List of Names for Seafood- The Secretary and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall initial a joint rulemaking proceeding to develop and make public a list of standardized names for seafood identification purposes at distribution, marketing, and consumer retail stages. The list of standardized names shall take into account taxonomy, current labeling regulations, international law and custom, market value, and naming precedence for all commercially distributed seafood distributed in interstate commerce in the United States and may not include names, whether similar to existing or commonly used names for species, that are likely to confuse or mislead consumers.

    (b) Publication of List- The list of standardized names shall be made available to the public on Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Commerce Web sites, shall be open to public review and comment, and shall be updated annually.

SEC. 8. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) Applicable federal laws- The term ‘applicable laws and regulations’ means Federal statutes, regulations, and international agreements pertaining to the importation, exportation, transportation, sale, harvest, processing, or trade of seafood, including the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, section 801 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 381), section 203 of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (21 U.S.C. 374a), and the Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point regulations in part 123 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations.

      (2) Appropriate federal agencies- The term ‘appropriate Federal agencies’ includes the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Agriculture.

      (3) Secretary- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Commerce.