Thursday, December 14, 2006

When is a crab not a crab?

When it's "crab-flavored seafood, made with surimi, a fully cooked fish protein." So read your seafood label carefully, and read the fine print on the salad bar, if you can find it.

The FDA has now made it legal to drop the word "imitation" from imitation crab, because it was supposedly confusing customers. In place of "imitation crab," you'll find the bizarre mouthful of words about crab-flavored seafood.

I think we were better off without the change. Why? Because imitation crab is simple, it means something made to resemble crab. The new terms are more complex and more misleading. To me, "crab flavored" should mean flavored with crab.

Who's better off with the new rules? That's easy, the people who sell pollock or other fish that are used to make surimi, that are used to make imitation crab-er, crab-flavored seafood.

What is this really? Call it obfuscational profit enhancement, or better yet call it "profit-flavored gains, made with influence, a fully cooked federal rule-making process."

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