It was reported on Feb. 21, 2013 by Huffington Post that Americans are victims of seafood fraud. Fish sold in United States are purposely mislabeled deceiving Americans purchasing the product.
Samples of fish collected by researchers showed out of 1,215 samples at least one-third of the samples were different fish than what was written on the label according to Oceana.
Oceana is an advocacy group that works to protect the world’s oceans.
Oceana said the two fish most frequently mislabeled, in the United States were tuna, red mullet and red snapper. For example out of 120 red snapper samples labeled only seven were proven to be genuine.
According to Beth Lowell, the campaign director of Oceana said “Purchasing seafood has become the ultimate guessing game for US consumer”. She also stated “Whether you live in Florida, or Kanas, no one is safe from seafood fraud”.
It is imperative that we track the fish coming off the boat to the fish markets and ensure that they are being labeled properly before they end up on consumer plates.
Americans, have the right to safe, legal and honestly labeled seafood that they purchase.
According Oceana the inexpensive farm raised fish is often times substituted as wild seafood, pangasius (basa) for grouper and tilapia mislabeled as red snapper. Another fish often mislabeled for wild or king salmon is farm raised salmon.
Wild fish is a lot healthier to eat, in order to lure the wild fish into buying consumer fish the industry mislabels these fish and actually sell them under the name farm raised.
Studies conducted by Oceana have also found mislabeling nationwide of cod, tuna.
Southern California had mislabeled fish by 52 percent. In Austin and Houston, Texas fish were 49 percent mislabeled. In Boston, Mass. 48 percent of fish were mislabeled. New York City 39 percent of fish was mislabeled. Northern California and South Florida mislabeled 36 percent of their fish. There are many other states that mislabel their fish such as Chicago, Colorado, Missouri.
Oceana says over 44 percent of US fish retail outlets that were visited were found to have sold mislabeled fish. Sushi distributors were the worst offenders of mislabeling fish 74 percent of the time.
Restaurants also mislabel their seafood by 38 percent, while grocery stores mislabel fish by 18 percent.
Kimberly Warner, Oceana’s senior scientist says “apart from being cheated, many consumers are being denied the right to choose fish wisely based on health or conversation concerns.”
Over the last month Europe has come under attack for mislabeling their beef used for Burger King as traces of horsemeat and pig were found in the burger patties. Frozen foods such as lasagna in Europe have been found to have horsemeat as consumers thought they were purchasing ground meat in their food.