2013 Regular Session
By: Representatives Sullivan, Kinkade, Whittington
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 69-7-607, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE NOTIFICATION PROVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI CATFISH MARKETING LAW TO INCLUDE THE TERM "FISH" AS DEFINED IN THE LAW IN THE CLASSIFICATION FOR WHICH COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELING IS REQUIRED; TO BRING FORWARD SECTION 69-7-605, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, FOR PURPOSES OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 69-7-607, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
69-7-607. (1) Notice of country of origin.
(a) General requirements:
(i) All retailers of catfish products and fish as defined in this article shall inform consumers, at the final point of sale of the catfish to the consumers, of the country of origin of the catfish or fish;
(ii) United States country of origin. A retailer of catfish or fish products may designate the catfish or fish as having a United States country of origin only if:
1. In case of
"Farm-raised Catfish * * *
," or "Farm-raised Fish," it is hatched,
raised, harvested and processed in the United States;
2. In case of
"River or Lake Catfish * * *
" or "River or Lake Fish,"
a. Harvested in waters of the United States, a territory of the United States or a state, including the waters thereof; and
b. Processed in the United States, a territory of the United States or a state, including the waters thereof;
and River or Lake Catfish, Farm-raised and River or Lake Fish. The
notice of country of origin for "Farm-raised Catfish" or
"Farm-raised Fish" and "River or Lake Catfish" or
"River or Lake Fish" shall distinguish between "Farm-raised
Catfish" and "River or Lake Catfish * * *
" or "Farm-raised Fish" and
"River or Lake Fish."
(b) Method of notification.
1. The information required by paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section may be provided to consumers by means of a label, stamp, mark, placard or other clear and visible sign on the catfish, fish or on the package, display, holding unit or bin containing the catfish or fish at the final point of sale to consumers.
2. If the catfish or fish is already individually labeled for retail sale regarding country of origin, the retailer shall not be required to provide any additional information to comply with this section.
(ii) Food service establishments. The information required by paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section shall be provided to the consumer on the menu of the food service establishment. For foreign or imported catfish or fish, the information shall be adjacent to the item on the menu and printed in the same font style and size as the item. If the food service establishment offers for sale only catfish or fish having a United States country of origin, then the food service establishment may generally disclose this in a prominent location in the food service establishment in lieu of disclosure on the menu. The signage disclosing the sale of catfish or fish having a United States country of origin, that is to be placed in a prominent location in the food service establishment, shall be approved, as indicated by a stamp or seal, by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, which shall be held harmless in a cause of action for a retail or food service establishment's failure to disclose or fraudulent disclosure. Any liability arising from failure to disclose country of origin shall remain with the wholesaler and the retail or food service establishment.
(c) The commissioner may require that any person that prepares, stores, handles or distributes catfish or fish for retail sale maintain a verifiable record-keeping audit trail that permits the commissioner to verify compliance with this law and any regulations promulgated hereunder.
(d) Any distributor or wholesaler engaged in the business of supplying catfish or fish to a retailer or food service establishment shall provide information to the retailer or food service establishment indicating the country of origin of the catfish or fish. The information shall include certification of origin through a state or federal agency that regulates the processing of catfish or fish or through a federal agency that verifies that catfish or fish and/or other products produced in countries other than the United States meets similar sanitation requirements.
(2) Any advertising as to any catfish or fish product shall state the information required in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section.
(3) The term "catfish" shall not be used as a common name or in the label name of fish product except as provided in this section.
(4) The commissioner shall have authority to enter the premises of any wholesaler, processor, distributor, retailer or any other person selling catfish or fish products in order to determine compliance with this article.
(5) This section shall not apply to catfish or fish products exported out of the United States.
SECTION 2. Section 69-7-605, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
69-7-605. For purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the meaning ascribed herein unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Capable of use as human food" means and shall apply to any catfish or part or product thereof unless it is denatured or otherwise identified as required by regulations prescribed by the commissioner to deter its use as human food, or unless it is naturally inedible by humans.
(b) "Catfish" means any species within the family Ictaluridae.
(c) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce of the State of Mississippi.
(d) "Direct retail sale" means the sale of catfish products individually or in small quantities directly to the consumer.
(e) "Distributor" means any person offering for sale, exchange or barter any catfish product destined for direct retail sale in the State of Mississippi.
(f) "Farm-raised Catfish" means the catfish product has been specifically produced in fresh water according to the usual and customary techniques of commercial aquaculture and includes fillets, steaks, nuggets and any other flesh from a "Farm-raised Catfish."
(g) "Fish" means species of fish similar to catfish in the families of Siluridae, Clariidae and Pangasiidae.
(h) "Food service establishment" means a restaurant, cafeteria, lunch room, food stand, saloon, tavern, bar, lounge or other similar facility operated as an enterprise engaged in the business of selling food to the public.
(i) "Label" means a display of written, printed or graphic matter upon or affixed to the container in which a catfish product is offered for direct retail sale.
(j) "Labeling" means all labels and other written, printed or graphic matter upon a catfish product, or any of its containers or wrappers, offered for direct retail sale.
(k) "Menu" means any listing of food and beverage options for a diner or customer to select from regardless of its form.
(l) "Pay pond" means a circumscribed body of water owned by a person and operated solely for recreational fishing purposes on a commercial basis for profit.
(m) "Person" includes any individual, partnership, corporation and association or other legal entity.
(n) "Processor" means any person engaged in handling, storing, preparing, manufacturing, packing or holding catfish products.
(o) "Producer" means any person engaged in the business of harvesting catfish, by any method, intended for direct retail sale.
(p) "Product" means any catfish product capable of use as human food which is made wholly or in part from any catfish or portion thereof, except products which contain catfish only in small proportions or historically have not been, in the judgment of the commissioner, considered by consumers as products of the United States commercial catfish industry and which are exempted from definition as a catfish product by the commissioner under such conditions as he may prescribe to assure that the catfish or portions thereof contained therein are not adulterated and that such products are not represented as catfish products.
(q) "Product name" means the name of the catfish item intended for retail sale which identifies it as to kind, class or specific use.
(r) "Retailer" means any person offering for sale catfish products to individual consumers and representing the last sale prior to human consumption and includes food service establishments unless otherwise stated herein.
(s) "River or Lake Catfish" means the catfish product has been produced in a freshwater lake, river or stream but has not been produced according to the usual and customary techniques of commercial aquaculture.
(t) "Wholesaler" means any person offering for sale any catfish product destined for direct retail sale in the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2013.