• The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final Compliance Policy Guide (CPG), Sec. 540.750, on the “Use of The Seafood List to Determine Acceptable Seafood Names.” The Seafood List is FDA’s guide to acceptable market names for domestic and imported vertebrate and invertebrate seafood sold in interstate commerce. The Seafood List provides information on the proper labeling of seafood and products containing seafood ingredients, such as in the statement of identity and ingredient list. In addition, FDA’s Seafood List Guidance (“Guidance for Industry: The Seafood List – FDA’s Guide to Acceptable Market Names for Seafood Sold in Interstate Commerce”) provides guiding principles to determine the acceptable market name for a new seafood species introduced into the marketplace and defines the various categories of names in the Seafood List (acceptable market name, common name, scientific name, and vernacular name).
  • The CPG (guidance directed towards FDA staff that also informs industry of FDA’s interpretations of policy on regulatory issues) is intended to be used together with the Seafood List and Seafood List Guidance, upon consultation of existing standards of identity, FDA statutes, regulations, and other CPGs (e.g., CPGs specifically addressing snapper and caviar), in an effort to reduce or eliminate mislabeled and misbranded products in the marketplace.
  • The CPG finalizes a draft version issued in November 2016, and includes updated language, such as guidance acknowledging that the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS), through its mandatory inspection program, regulates fish of the order Siluriformes, including catfish and products derived from catfish. The CPG also discusses potential enforcement actions that may be taken and provides specimen charges relating to domestic seizure and import refusal. Finally, it provides regulatory action guidance to FDA’s field staff in an effort to address misbranding violations and clarifies acceptable names for labeling seafood species.