Alaska shines in multi-state seafood investigation

Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

JUNEAU - The National Conference on Weights and Measures announced the findings of a voluntary multi-state investigation Monday, revealing significant overcharges due to incorrect package weights on some frozen seafood products.

Of the 17 states that participated in the investigation, only Alaska was found to have zero violations.

"For Alaska's involvement, we tested 82 lots of 14 brands at nine locations with zero violations," said Dan Breeden, director of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Division of Measurement Standards and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement - the state department involved in the study. "In Alaska, the division works with producers, packers, processors and wholesalers to ensure restaurants, retailers and customers are not cheated. We have an effective package testing program, and a regulatory cooperative partnership with industry in Alaska."

The investigation was prompted by the National Fisheries Institute, a seafood industry association, due to growing concern that reduced funding for weights and measures inspection programs may be tilting the playing field in favor of dishonest businesses.

The study revealed that some packers are including the weight of ice glazing in the labeled weight for the seafood, which is prohibited by state and federal law.

"These findings are another example of how Alaska's seafood industry self-polices and is committed to proper management and integrity," said transportation department Commissioner Leo von Scheben.

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