Something fishy is going on with seafood according to a new study by Oceana: “DNA testing found that one-third (33 percent) of the 1,215 samples analyzed nationwide were mislabeled, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines.
“Of the most commonly collected fish types, samples sold as snapper and tuna had the highest mislabeling rates (87 and 59 percent, respectively), with the majority of the samples identified by DNA analysis as something other than what was found on the label. In fact, only seven of the 120 samples of red snapper purchased nationwide were actually red snapper. The other 113 samples were another fish.”
When people buy things they expect the labeling to be correct. Knowing that there may be problems with labeling can affect what people choose to purchase.
Slate says why it matters: “In many cases, you may say who cares? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and if people like what they're eating, who cares if it's really snapper or not? But as Oceana notes, some of the common substitutions have substantial health implications. 'White tuna,' for example, is often really escolar and eating it 'can have immediate and serious digestive effects for some people who eat more than a few ounces.'”
Diets In Review says the red snapper substitutes found in New York were actually tilefish, “which contain mercury in their flesh and should be avoided.”
The worst place in the country for mislabeling was Southern California with 52 percent of the fish being labeled incorrectly — 20 percent higher than the national average. In Seattle, 18 percent were mislabeled. Chicago, 32 percent mislabeled. Austin/Houston, Texas, 49 percent. New York, 39 percent.
It also mattered where people purchased fish. Only 18 percent of fish in groceries was mislabeled. In restaurants it was 38 percent. Sushi venues were the worst, according to the report, with 74 percent of the fish labeled incorrectly.
Brian Clark Howard of National Geographic News says Oceana wasn't able to determine why things were mislabeled, “but experts suggest it is likely a combination of outright fraud, honest mistakes, loose paperwork and the difficulty in identifying some species of fish from others.”
Solutions to the problem could be better tracking of fish using barcodes and other technology — or even spot DNA testing.
“We suggest there is an enforcement issue that needs to be addressed,” Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson for National Fisheries Institute, the country's largest seafood trade association, told National Geographic. “FDA is the primary agency that has the task of enforcing the laws that are already on the books. FDA needs to enforce those laws.”
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them