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article imageStudy finds mislabeled fish rampant across US

By Brandi Fleeks     Feb 21, 2013 in Odd News
The nonprofit, ocean conservation group Oceana conducted a study in 20 states, discovering widespread mislabeling of fish.
The two-year study found that one-third of the fish sold in grocery stores, and sushi restaurants and vendors were mislabeled, reports Forbes.
The prevalence of fish mislabeling is widespread from New York to San Francisco, but Southern California had the highest incidence of fish mislabeling with 52 percent of the fish sold in grocery stores, restaurants and sushi spots labeled incorrectly according to Newser.
Oceana tested the DNA of 1200 fish samples between 2010 to 2012, finding the most commonly mislabeled fish to be tuna and snapper which was mislabeled an overwhelming 87% of the time, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Other commonly mislabeled fish includes: slickhead and tilapia which are passed off as Alaskan or Pacific cod, king mackerel and whitefin weakfish labeled as grouper, blueline tilefish as Alaskan or Pacific halibut and, Pacific ocean perch, yellowtail rockfish, giltheaded sea bream, madai, tilapia, white bass all being labeled as red snapper.
Not only are consumers being duped into buying mislabeled fish, they may also be buying the exact species they are trying to avoid.
Another concern over fish fraud is health risks. One type of fish, mackerel, being passed off as red snapper, is number four on the FDA's do not eat list because of high mercury levels reports NPR.
Because less than one percent of imported fish is tested for fraud by the FDA, Oceana encourages consumers to question the origins of the fish they purchase and be wary of any prices that seem lower than they should. “If the price is too good to be true, it probably is, and you are likely purchasing a completely different species than what is on the label,” the group said in a statement. "At the same time, increased inspection and testing of our seafood, specifically for mislabeling, and stronger federal and state enforcement of existing laws combating fraud are needed to reverse these disturbing trends. “
More about Fish, mislabeled fish, Tuna, Snapper, tilefish
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