Relates to labeling requirements for fish wholesalers.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to labeling requirements for fish wholesalers
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This legislation would amend the agriculture and markets law to require that wholesalers of fish and/or seafood may only sell such fish or seafood that is in sealed and clearly labeled containers; and to require the labels to include 1) the identity of the commodity, 2) the weight of the commodity, 3) the name and address of the shipper, packer, or distributor, and 4) the state and county of commodity origin.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one would amend the agriculture and markets law by adding a new section 214-o, which would require that any wholesaler of fish and/or seafood may only sell edible or otherwise saleable fish or seafood for consumption purposes in sealed and clearly labeled containers. The labels must include the following: 1) the identity of the commodity, 2) the weight of the commodity, 3) the name and address of the shipper, packer, or distributor, and 4) the state and county of commodity origin.
Section two provides that this act shall take effect immediately.
JUSTIFICATION: Under the existing federal law, wholesalers of fish/seafood are required to attach labels that provide correct information of the weight, identity and origin of the fish/seafood offered for sale. In addition, federal law requires the label to contain the name and address of the shipper, packer, or distributor of the fish product.
While law exists to prevent mislabeling of fish and seafood, media reports and studies indicate that there is widespread non-compliance with existing federal statutes in labeling fish products. Various incidents have been reported at wholesale markets where wholesalers remove the original label affixed on fish containers only to replace them with a new label or handwritten note that provides inaccurate counts and net weighs (short-weight) and misidentifies the name and origin of fish. These instances result in retailers receiving less for their money, costing legitimate business sales, and reducing confidence in the seafood product purchased by both retailers and consumers.
This bill proposes to address the problem of weight deception, species substitution and improper labeling by enacting an explicit requirement that seafood must be accurately labeled at the wholesale level.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE PATE: This bill takes effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7730 IN SENATE June 3, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to labeling requirements for fish wholesalers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new section 214-o to read as follows: S 214-O. LABELING REQUIREMENTS FOR FISH WHOLESALERS. ANY WHOLESALER OF FISH AND/OR SEAFOOD MAY ONLY SELL SUCH FISH OR SEAFOOD THAT IS EDIBLE OR OTHERWISE SALEABLE FOR CONSUMPTION PURPOSES, IN SEALED, CLEARLY LABELED CONTAINERS. THE LABELS MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: 1. THE IDEN- TITY OF THE COMMODITY, 2. THE WEIGHT OF THE COMMODITY, 3. THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE SHIPPER, PACKER, OR DISTRIBUTOR, AND 4. THE STATE AND COUNTY OF COMMODITY ORIGIN. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15124-01-4