From 2010 to 2012 Oceana, an international organization focused on ocean conservation, conducted one of the most comprehensive studies investigating "seafood fraud" or the mislabeling of seafood products in the United States. The organization collected more than 1,200 samples from 674 retail outlets in 21 states. The study included DNA testing of all the samples finding that one third of the samples tested were mislabeled according to FDA guidelines.
Here are some more facts gathered from the study:
- 59% of fish labeled as "tuna" in restaurants and grocery stores in the U.S. is not actually tuna.
- Snapper was mislabeled the most at 87% of the time and was in actuality any of six different fish species
- Not surprisingly, sushi restaurants were more likely to mislabel their fish than grocery stores and restaurants
- (Brace yourself for this one) 84% of fish labeled white tuna was actually escolar, a type of fish that has caused those who eat more than six ounces to have "uncontrollable oily anal leakage". (Gross!)
Needless to say, I don't think I'll be giving in to my seafood cravings any longer.
You can download the entire study in PDF form on Ocean's website or watch this video on YouTube.
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