Sep 23 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In another win for Louisiana’s shrimping and fishing industries, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that he secured a funding increase for imported seafood inspections in the FY2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2020 agriculture appropriations bill last week. The bill will now move to the full Senate for consideration.
The bill includes a $1 million increase in funding for foreign seafood safety inspections. According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, only 2% of imported seafood receives FDA safety inspections. In Fiscal Year 2019, Sen. Kennedy secured an additional $3.1 million for the FDA’s foreign seafood inspections. In the past two years, Sen. Kennedy has successfully secured $4.1 million in additional funds to improve and increase the frequency of the FDA’s foreign seafood inspections.
The bill also includes a $1 million funding increase for the ongoing research on an invasive species that destroys Roseau cane along the Louisiana coast. Roseau cane is a reed that preserves marshland, prevents erosion and plays an integral role in the Mississippi River Delta’s ecosystem.
“I’m happy to keep fighting for Louisiana priorities through my position on the Appropriations Committee,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Inferior, uninspected seafood shouldn’t be allowed to come into our country and undercut Louisiana’s fishing and shrimping industries. Other countries cheat because they know the U.S. only inspects a fraction of what’s coming in. It’s time for them to play by the rules.”