U.S. not alone in worrying about Asian catfish quality - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

U.S. not alone in worrying about Asian catfish quality

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MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - In the U.S., Louisiana is one of the states which has enacted COOL laws covering catfish and catfish-like species being serviced in restaurants.

Concerns over the safety of Asian imports are not limited to here in the United States. In recent years, some Australian states and territories have passed legislation to require restaurants to identify whether the seafood they serve is Australian-sourced or imported. Consumers' support for such labeling and their preference for local seafood has led to a call for national country of origin labeling (COOL) for all seafood served in Australia's restaurants.

Surveys of Australian consumers find an overwhelming preference for local seafood. In the Northern Territory, for instance: 90 percent said they always or almost always buy local seafood, and most Australians are willing to pay more for safe, high quality local seafood.

These findings are similar to surveys of U.S. consumers, the vast majority of whom support COOL for catfish served in restaurants and prefer U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish to imports.

The U.S. government requires seafood sold in supermarkets to carry COOL labels, but restaurants (where more than 70 percent of Americans eat their catfish) are exempt. Along with Louisiana, the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, however, have enacted COOL laws covering catfish and catfish-like species served in restaurants.

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