Cagle Statement Regarding Senate Government Oversight Committee Hearing

November 16, 2007

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle released the following statement in response to todays Senate Government Oversight Committee meeting.

Today, the Senate Government Oversight Committee heard testimony regarding seafood served in our restaurants and bought in our grocery stores that is very concerning, said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. I commend Chairman Ronnie Chance for taking the lead on this important issue. The health and safety of Georgians is a top priority of ours and what we heard today about imported seafood is not only alarming in regards to consumer fraud, but also threatens health and well-being of Georgians.

The Senate Oversight Committee heard testimony from several experts including David Price, Ph.D. who conducted a DNA analysis of fish samples taken from restaurants and grocery stores in Georgia and found that much of the fish served is substituted. For example, over 56% of the labeled Grouper tested was not found to be grouper.

The increase in imported seafood to our state has raised concern over the residues of harmful drugs and chemicals illegal for use in food within the U.S. Jeff McCord of the Catfish Institute testified that the following illegal chemicals were found in fish imported from China and Vietnam including: malachite green, crystal violet, chloramphenicol, fluoroquinolone and nitrofuron.

The State Senate Government Oversight Committee will continue to study the issue and may consider introducing legislation.

Full audio of the committee meeting is available for download at: