Text: H.R.6200 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/25/2012)


112th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6200

To strengthen Federal consumer protection and product traceability with respect to commercially marketed seafood, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 25, 2012

Mr. Markey (for himself, Mr. Frank of Massachusetts, Mr. Jones, Mr. Courtney, and Mr. Keating) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Agriculture, Ways and Means, and Natural Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To strengthen Federal consumer protection and product traceability with respect to commercially marketed seafood, and for other purposes.

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 “Safety And Fraud Enforcement for Seafood Act”.

SEC. 2. Seafood safety.

(a) Interagency agreement.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall execute a memorandum of understanding to improve interagency cooperation on seafood safety, building upon any agreement under section 421(c) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 350j(c)), or any other prior agreement. The memorandum shall include provisions, performance metrics, and timelines as appropriate to improve such cooperation (acting under provisions of law other than this subsection) to—

(1) identify and execute specific procedures for using authorities granted under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (Public Law 111–353) to ensure and improve the safety of commercially marketed seafood in the United States;

(2) maximize the effectiveness of limited personnel and resources by ensuring that—

(A) inspections of seafood shipments and seafood processing and production facilities by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Food and Drug Administration are not duplicative; and

(B) information resulting from examinations, testing, and inspections conducted by the Department of Commerce is considered in making risk-based determinations, including the establishment of inspection priorities for domestic and foreign facilities and the examination and testing of domestic and imported seafood;

(3) create a process by which—

(A) all agents of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration authorized to conduct inspections meet training standards established by the Food and Drug Administration beginning no later than one year after the enactment of this Act; and

(B) data collected by either of these agencies is shared to maximize efficiency and enforcement of seafood safety efforts;

(4) create a process by which—

(A) officials of other Federal, State, or local agencies authorized to conduct inspections of seafood, or inspections of facilities that process or sell seafood, may be trained in accordance with training standards established by the Food and Drug Administration; and

(B) data collected by these officials is shared with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Food and Drug Administration to maximize efficiency and enforcement of seafood safety efforts;

(5) create and maintain a list of all antibiotics and other substances allowed to be administered to farmed fish in the United States and other countries that import farmed fish to the United States, as well as unapproved substances that could be used and could be hazardous to human health, and develop protocols for certification of foreign and domestic private laboratories to conduct testing for levels of these substances; and

(6) fully utilize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s seafood inspection activities to prescreen imported seafood or seafood offered for import originating from any country or exporter that wishes to have its product certified as safe for export to the United States.

(b) Coordination.—

(1) EXPEDITING IMPORTATION OF SEAFOOD FROM CERTAIN COUNTRIES AND EXPORTERS.—The Secretary of Commerce shall coordinate with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Federal Trade Commission, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and other appropriate Federal agencies to develop a process (acting under provisions of law other than this paragraph) for expediting the importation of seafood from foreign countries and exporters that consistently adhere to the highest standards for seafood safety.

(2) NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM.—The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shall ensure that the Administration’s seafood inspection activities are coordinated with the national sea grant college program to provide outreach to the States, consumers, and the seafood industry on seafood safety.

(3) INSPECTING TO PREVENT SEAFOOD FRAUD.—The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, to the maximum extent practicable, ensure that inspections and tests for seafood safety also collect information for seafood fraud prevention.

(c) Refusal of admission.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), all seafood imported or offered for import originating from an exporter shall be refused admission if the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Secretary of Commerce finds that any shipment of such seafood appears to—

(A) not meet the controls established under the applicable provisions of part 123 of title 1, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation);

(B) be treated, or have been given feed that has been treated, with an antibiotic or other substance that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use by United States aquaculturists; or

(C) contain a level of any substance above the maximum level deemed safe for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration.

(2) IMPORT CERTIFICATION.—For any exporter whose seafood products must be refused admission under paragraph (1) based on a prior shipment, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall determine whether to require, as a condition of granting admission into the United States to an article of seafood originating from such exporter, that such seafood be accompanied by a certification or other assurance under section 801(q) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 381(q)).

(3) ALLOWANCE OF INDIVIDUAL SHIPMENTS.—Paragraph (1) does not apply with respect to an individual shipment of seafood originating from an exporter whose products must otherwise be refused admission under such paragraph if the exporter presents evidence to the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Secretary of Commerce from a laboratory accredited under section 422 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 350k), or other equivalent evidence, documenting that the shipment—

(A) meets the controls established under the applicable provisions of part 123 of title 1, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation); and

(B) is not described in subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (1).

(4) TERMINATION OF INDIVIDUAL SHIPMENT SCREENING REQUIREMENT.—Paragraph (1) shall cease to prohibit the admission of seafood originating from an exporter based on a prior shipment if the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Secretary of Commerce determines that—

(A) each prior shipment whose appearance triggered the application of such paragraph was in fact in compliance with Federal law; or

(B) during the preceding 12 months, no shipment of seafood originating from the exporter has triggered the application of paragraph (1).

(d) List of offenders.—The Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, shall develop, maintain, and post on the public Web site of the Department of Health and Human Services a list that—

(1) includes, by country, each exporter whose seafood is imported or offered for import into the United States; and

(2) for each such exporter, tracks the timing, type, and frequency of violations of Federal law relating to seafood safety.

SEC. 3. Seafood identification.

(a) List of Standardized Names for Seafood.—

(1) UPDATE.—Beginning not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, shall maintain a list of standardized names for identification of seafood at the distribution, marketing, and retail stages.

(2) CONTENTS.—The list maintained under paragraph (1) shall—

(A) include scientific names, acceptable market names, and common or regional names for all seafood species distributed in interstate commerce in the United States, and indicate clearly—

(i) which of those names may be used to identify seafood; and

(ii) which constitute mislabeling in violation of Federal law;

(B) take into account taxonomy, international law and custom, market information, and naming precedence;

(C) identify names for seafood as appropriate only if the Secretary of Commerce determines the names are not likely to confuse or mislead consumers; and

(D) include information regarding any consumption advisory that has been issued for the seafood.

(3) AVAILABILITY.—The list maintained under paragraph (1) shall be—

(A) made available to the public on the Web sites of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Commerce; and

(B) updated annually based on the best available scientific and market information.

(4) PUBLIC INPUT.—The Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Commerce shall—

(A) accept citizen petitions to amend the list maintained under paragraph (1); and

(B) provide to each petitioner a written response to the respective petition within 180 days of receipt.

(b) Seafood Traceability Requirements.—Beginning on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall implement the following requirements with respect to seafood imported into the United States or otherwise distributed or sold in interstate commerce:

(1) Of the information required to be submitted to the Secretary of Commerce under section 303(a)(5) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1853(a)(5)), the following information shall be included in the labeling of, or otherwise accompany, seafood through processing, distribution, and final sale:

(A) The acceptable market name and scientific name for the seafood species, as specified in the list maintained under paragraph (1).

(B) The production method of the seafood, including gear type, and whether the seafood was farmed or wild-caught.

(C) The geographic catch area or aquaculture production area of the seafood.

(D) The weight or number and any transformation of product for an individual fish or lot.

(2) If seafood has been previously frozen, or treated with any substance (other than ice or water) that may affect the true weight of the seafood, by any harvester, processor, distributor, or retailer, such information shall be included in the labeling of, or otherwise accompany, the seafood through processing, distribution, and final sale.

(3) With respect to any information required by paragraph (1) or (2) to be included in the labeling of, or otherwise accompany, seafood, a retailer may satisfy such requirement by making the information available upon request—

(A) to anyone purchasing the seafood; and

(B) to any Federal, State, or local official authorized to conduct inspections of—

(i) seafood; or

(ii) any facility that processes or sells seafood.

(c) Refusal of admission.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), all seafood imported or offered for import originating from an exporter shall be refused admission if the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Secretary of Commerce finds that any shipment of such seafood appears to be in violation of subsection (b) or other applicable Federal laws or regulations prohibiting seafood fraud.

(2) IMPORT CERTIFICATION.—For any exporter whose seafood products must be refused admission under paragraph (1) based on a prior shipment, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall determine whether to require, as a condition of granting admission into the United States to an article of seafood originating from such exporter, that such seafood be accompanied by a certification or other assurance under section 801(q) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 381(q)).

(3) ALLOWANCE OF INDIVIDUAL SHIPMENTS.—Paragraph (1) does not apply with respect to an individual shipment of seafood originating from an exporter whose products must otherwise be refused admission under such paragraph if the exporter presents evidence to the Secretary Health and Human Services or the Secretary of Commerce from a laboratory accredited under section 422 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 350k), or other equivalent evidence, documenting that the shipment is in compliance with the provisions of subsection (b) and other Federal laws or regulations prohibiting seafood fraud.

(4) TERMINATION OF INDIVIDUAL SHIPMENT SCREENING REQUIREMENT.—Paragraph (1) shall cease to prohibit the admission of seafood originating from an exporter based on a prior shipment if the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Secretary of Commerce determines that—

(A) each prior shipment whose appearance triggered the application of such paragraph was in fact in compliance with the provisions of subsection (b) and other Federal laws or regulations prohibiting seafood fraud; or

(B) during the preceding 12 months, no shipment of seafood originating from the exporter has triggered the application of paragraph (1).

(d) Penalties.—The violation of a requirement of subsection (a) is deemed to constitute a violation of section 307(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1857(1)(A)).

(e) List of offenders.—The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall develop, maintain, and post on the public Web site of the Department of Commerce a list that—

(1) includes, by country, each exporter whose seafood is imported or offered for import into the United States; and

(2) for each such exporter, tracks the timing, type, and frequency of violations of Federal law relating to seafood fraud.

(f) Inspections.—The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall—

(1) increase, as resources allow, the number of foreign and domestic seafood shipments that are inspected for seafood fraud, including verification of compliance with the traceability requirements of subsection (b) (relating to traceability);

(2) ensure that the percentage of seafood shipments inspected during a given year is not lower than the percentage inspected during the previous year; and

(3) to the maximum extent practicable, ensure that inspections and tests for seafood fraud prevention also collect information for seafood safety.

SEC. 4. Authority of States.

Whenever the attorney general of a State, or an official or agency designated by a State, has reason to believe that any person has engaged or is engaging in a pattern or practice of seafood fraud in violation of subsection (b) or (c) of section 3, the State may bring a civil action on behalf of its residents to enjoin fraud, an action to recover for actual monetary loss or receive $10,000 in damages for each violation, or both such actions. If the court finds the defendant willfully or knowingly violated this Act, the court may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the award to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount available under the preceding sentence. Nothing in this section shall preclude an individual from bringing a civil action.

SEC. 5. Report to Congress.

Beginning 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every two years thereafter, the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and the heads of other relevant Federal agencies, shall submit jointly a report to the Congress including—

(1) findings with respect to—

(A) the extent and severity of violations of Federal, State, and local law relating to seafood safety and seafood fraud; and

(B) the health and financial impacts of these violations on United States consumers and the United States fishing industry;

(2) an analysis of the lists required to be developed and maintained under sections 2(d) and 3(e);

(3) an analysis of the effectiveness of the memorandum of understanding required by section 2(a) in ensuring that the Department of Commerce and the Department of Health and Human Services work to ensure seafood safety, including an assessment of achieving identified performance metrics and timelines;

(4) an assessment of the technological assets available for addressing seafood safety and fraud, including traceability, and an assessment of the technological gaps and needs that exist;

(5) information related to the implementation of any agreement entered into pursuant to section 2 of this Act or section 421 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 350j);

(6) detailed information on the inspection, enforcement, and consumer outreach activities, including the number of inspections, enforcement actions, consumer outreach activities, personnel, and resources utilized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Federal Trade Commission to carry out this Act, including the degree of coordination of actions to address seafood safety and seafood fraud; and

(7) recommendations on any additional authorities, budget, or personnel necessary to improve seafood safety and prevent seafood fraud.

SEC. 6. Preemption.

Nothing in this Act preempts the authority of a State to establish and enforce requirements for improving seafood safety and preventing seafood fraud that are consistent with, or in addition to, the requirements of this Act.

SEC. 7. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) The term “other applicable Federal laws and regulations” means Federal statutes, regulations, and international agreements (other than this Act) pertaining to the importation, exportation, transportation, sale, harvest, processing, or trade of seafood, including the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 (16 U.S.C. 3371 et seq.), the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (Public Law 111–353), and part 123 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulations).

(2) The term “seafood” means fish, shellfish, and processed fish or shellfish products.

(3) The term “seafood fraud” means the mislabeling or misrepresentation of seafood in violation of this Act or other applicable Federal laws and regulations.