Can you name that fish – Is it swordfish or mako shark?
There are many ways you can be cheated when you buy seafood:
- There might be less actual seafood in the package (think overbreaded shrimp.)
- Your seafood could be packaged in large amounts of ice to increase its weight (sometimes up to 40% is ice.)
- It might have traveled a creative journey through various countries, disguising its origins (and 84% of U.S. fish is imported.)
Now, scientists using genetic testing have discovered that 25% of your seafood might be mislabeled, meaning one fish has been substituted for another.
Experts can identify fish more easily identified by its scales, fins or head, but most fish in your supermarket lacks both. But just as DNA catches sex offenders, DNA bar coding can catch fish cheats.
Said Dr. Michael Hirshfield, chief scientist of the nonprofit group Oceana:
"If you’re ordering steak, you would never be served horse meat… But you can easily be ordering snapper and get tilapia or Vietnamese catfish."
– Tests Reveal Mislabeling of Fish, The New York Times>>
– Bait and Switch: How Seafood Fraud Hurts Our Oceans, Our Wallets and Our Health, Oceana>>
– Opens PDF file directly from Oceana: Bait and Switch: How Seafood Fraud Hurts Our Oceans, Our Wallets and Our Health>>