August 27, 2013
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – More on Alaska salmon bashing – and a visit from the EPA. Senator Begich has updates after this –
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US troops will be eating Alaska salmon after all. Sodexo, the France-based food contractor did an about face after getting blasted by Senator Mark Begich. Sodexo, which has an eight year contract to provide food services to the US military, said it would only serve seafood meriting one particular eco-label that Alaska salmon doesn’t have. Senator Mark Begich –
They want to get an understanding of the chain of control or handling of seafood products and they have offered to work with our folks. And I think that’s a great sign that they recognize the value – and we pointed out some things they just didn’t understand.
Similarly, Wal-Mart also is bringing Alaska seafood experts to its Arkansas headquarters next month to clarify questions about eco-labels.
On another front, People Magazine is next up for a nasty Begich letter. In a write up last week called ‘The best fish to buy,’ People’s health and fitness guru (Harley Pasternak) says it’s better to buy farmed fish “because it contains less mercury and PCBs than wild.”
The magazine can expect a letter from me that is very direct about the health value of fish and as a matter of fact, I think the evidence is very clear over the years that farmed fish, especially from what we have seen in other countries , what can happen in creating unhealthy situations. There is no better product that wild caught fish.
Begich says, in a backhanded way, ill-advised slams from far away seafood fans can work to Alaska seafood’s benefit.
It’s a great way to market our product in a kind of adverse situation and turn it into a positive situation. And that’s what we should be doing as much as possible.
Speaking of Alaska salmon, Begich says he welcomes the visit this week by the new head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy. She is visiting to see for herself where the Pebble Mine would be located and to talk to Alaskans in the region.
I think it’s good – I think it is important to get a visual of what’s going on there so she can put all the pieces together. Because if you don’t see it and you’re just reading it on a bunch of paper, it’s not good enough. You have to really see it and feel it.
Begich says the head of the Dept. of the Interior also is scheduled to visit Alaska next month.
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