WATCH: Cajun dock owner visits capitol to fight tainted, imported seafood
BATON ROUGE - A Louisiana man aired his grievances in proper southern-fried fashion over vendors who he claims are using "Cajun culture" to sell foreign-harvested seafood that may pose a health risk.
Dean Blanchard is a dock owner and Grand Isle native, but he paid a visit to Baton Rouge Wednesday to voice his support for House Bill 335. The proposal would mandate that restaurants display signage disclosing the country of origin for their crawfish or shrimp.
Many of these foreign crustaceans go untested and can be loaded with antibiotics, radiation and other toxins which pose a potentially deadly risk to the consumers' health. The food can also lead some to develop a resistance to antibiotics, causing long-term health problems.
It's a problem Blanchard said is rampant in our neck of the woods.
"What we have here is the restaurants are really committing fraud on their customers," Blanchard said in the Health and Welfare Committee meeting Wednesday. "Look on the wall, there's pictures of shrimp boats, pictures of our Cajun culture."
Blanchard's minute-long condemnation of the shrimp-peddling posers was shared on social media and quickly gained traction, garnering thousands of shares.
"I'm required to label everything I put out. The store is required to label everything they sell you. Why isn't the restaurant required to label it?" Blanchard continued. "They got a lot of lobbyists and a lot of money I guess... I thought about going up there and giving all you each a hundred dollars. I don't know how this works!"
Blanchard appeared to easily win over the room, prompting laughs and applause as he closed out his argument.
"Thank y'all. Keep your three minutes... I'm heading back to Grand Isle!" Blanchard signed off.
The bill won unanimous approval in the committee and will now move on to the Louisiana House of Representatives for another vote.
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