The National Sea Grant Law Center


  • Best Practices for Regulating Seaweed as Human Food
  • Sea Grant programs throughout the nation are currently helping growers in their states enter the U.S. seaweed aquaculture industry. The emerging industry in the United States presents novel legal considerations, including how to regulate the sale of seaweed in its whole form as a food product. There is currently no federal guidance on the food safety risks of seaweed in its whole form, leaving states unsure how to proceed with their own laws and regulations, impeding the growth of the industry.

    In 2019, the National Sea Grant Law Center, in partnership with Connecticut Sea Grant, received funding from the National Sea Grant College Program to enhance coordination and cooperation among states to build policy consensus as to the preferred approaches for regulating the sale of seaweed in its whole form for food. There were three components to this project: (1) conducting legal research to identify and assess potential models; (2) convening a collaborative learning workshop to engage stakeholders, and (3) conducting a literature review of the food safety hazards associated with seaweed production.

  • Seaweed Food Safety Guide

    The National Sea Grant Law Center worked with New York Sea Grant and Connecticut Sea Grant to create a guide to help the emerging seaweed industry understand the prevailing regulatory requirements surrounding the production of seaweeds as foods. There are currently two regulations that are being used to regulate seaweeds at either the federal or state level, the Food Safety and Modernization Acts Preventive Controls for Human Foods regulation, which includes current Good Manufacturing Practices, and the Seafood HACCP regulation. This guide will help the reader understand the similarities/ differences between the two regulations to be more informed and determine how their operations will be regulated federally.

    Seaweed Food Safety

  • Seaweed Food Hazard Literature Review

    The NSGLC partnered with researchers at UMass-Boston to conduct a literature review of the food safety hazards of seaweed production. The objective of the literature review was to compile and index the primary, peer-reviewed literature related to seaweed food safety hazards to increase accessibility for policy-makers. The literature survey will be made available through a searchable web-based platform.

    Link to Seaweed Food Safety Literature Review Database

  • Infographics

    As part of the outreach for this project, the NSGLC prepared several infographics providing an overview of the federal regulatory framework for seaweed.

    FDA Classification of Seaweed

    Seaweed and the FDA Preventive Controls Rule

    The FDCA Adulteration Provision

  • Building Consensus on Seafood Food Safety: A Collaborative Workshop

    The National Sea Grant Law Center and Connecticut Sea Grant will host a virtual collaborative learning workshop for state regulators on seaweed food safety on March 8 – 19, 2021. Through this workshop, state regulators will have the opportunity to:

    • Learn more about federal and state legal frameworks governing seaweed food safety;
    • Network with other colleagues working on these issues;
    • Gain a better understanding of the seaweed food safety workflow in their state; and
    • Collaboratively determine what type of guidance documents would be helpful to develop to move interstate conversations forward.

    Proceedings of a Virtual Collaborative Learning Workshop

    Appendix A: Compilation of State Seaweed Provisions

Questions About Projects?

Have questions or comments about projects at the National Sea Grant Law Center?
Feel free to contact us!

Call or fax us at:
662-915-5267 (fax)