Mislabeled Fish: L.A. Seafood 55% Species Substitution

Oceana, a nonprofit organization, has reported that 55% of 119 fish samples taken from across Los Angeles were mislabeled.

After conducting DNA tests on seafood acquired from restaurants, grocery stars, and sushi bars, the group noticed that more than half of the seafood was misidentified. All in all, 119 fish samples were retrieved from 119 retail outlets in L.A., California.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits species substitution which implies one cannot misrepresent one species as another. Regardless of the government mandate, the practice of species substitution maintains prevalence.

Consumer Reports conducted their research which discovered 18% of their seafood samples, collected from East Coast restaurants and retail stores, were mislabeled.

Boston Globe reported 48% of the fish they collected from Boston grocery stores, seafood markets, and restaurants were sold with the wrong species name.

FDA spokesman Douglas Karas stated that the FDA is currently in the process of determining the point within the supply chain at which fish substitution occurs. The majority of seafood fraud complaints received by the agency were from consumers at the retail level. The agency is currently conducting a yearlong DNA test of roughly 800 fish samples collected from across the United States.

California state Senator Ted Lieu (D) introduced SB 1486 back in February which requires large restaurant chains to accurately label all seafood species with country of origin and an indication as to whether it was farmed or wild.

Between the tests conducted by the Boston Globe, Consumer Reports, and Oceana, do you believe you can predict the results of the FDA’s test?

Source: L.A. Times