McCune’s ‘Truth in Salmon Labeling’ bill receives hearing

Common-sense proposal would protect consumers by making it illegal to mislabel salmon sold to the public

On Monday, state Sen. Jim McCune told the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks Committee that there is something fishy about the way some salmon is sold to the public.

Testifying on Senate Bill 5664, his measure to make it unlawful to knowingly sell salmon without identifying if it is farm-raised salmon or wild caught, McCune argued there needs to be truth in labeling to satisfy picky consumers like himself.

“People today want to know what is in their food,” said McCune, R-Graham. “They read labels, like I do. In this case, people know today that farm-raised salmon have a lot of chemicals and antibiotics in them, as well as red dye. Red dye isn’t necessarily bad for you, but people want to know if it is in their salmon.

“This is a truth-in-consumer-labeling bill that would put some teeth in the law and help make up for a lack of enforcement of the federal laws. For their health benefits, people like me want to consume wild-caught salmon and know exactly what is in their food.”

Under McCune’s legislation, sellers would have to identify farm-raised salmon, as well as whether any added color is used, and the state, province, or foreign country where it was farm-raised. Wild-caught salmon would have to be identified by species name, common name, and the state, province, foreign country, or body of water where it was commercially caught.

The ag committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on SB 5664. The committee has until Friday to advance the measure for it to remain viable for this legislative session.