Imagine you are seated at a nice restaurant down by the wharf where you live. You are celebrating a job offer, out for a romantic night with your partner, or just craving some salt air and a great meal. You would expect the shrimp tacos brought to your table to be fresh and local—the fishing boats are docked just across the boardwalk. But the seafood brought to your table seems off somehow, not quite the same as you remembered it. Unfortunately, this experience is more common than you might think, and it’s getting harder to know how fresh and local your seafood really is. The worldwide ubiquity of shrimp has made this kind of seafood particularly susceptible to consumer confusion as to the geographic origin and species of shrimp.
This article will first look at the problem of shrimp labeling in the United States, will address the primary legal regimes under which shrimp is regulated, and will recommend the Food and Drug Administration adopt regulations mandating the use of species and geographic-origin labeling of shrimp.
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