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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) here has unveiled three industry initiatives aimed at improving the safety of imported fish and shellfish, including certification and registry of importers and exporters; internationally recognized food safety and labeling standards; and certification of labs to sample and test food that meet Food and Drug Administration guidelines.
In addition, NFI has called for a $200 million increase from Congress to the FDA budget for expanded tools to restore consumer confidence in the safety of their food supply.
"These initiatives, in addition to a better resourced FDA, will go a long way to reassure Americans that their seafood is safe, no matter what country it comes from," said John Connelly, NFI president. "Eating seafood twice a week confers so many health benefits, that we want to do everything we can to ensure its continued wholesomeness."
Nutrition experts recommend eating at least two servings of fish per week, and an essential component of ensuring that families have access to sustainable seafood are global sources. Nearly 85 percent of seafood is imported, and the NFI has a long history of working with officials in the United States and abroad to develop smart food-safety guidelines. Connelly said NFI members were the earliest adopters of the successful regulatory system to prevent food-borne illnesses.
NFI said it will prioritize working with other food industry groups and Congress to enact legislation that will implement these initiatives.