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A new study by the non-profit Oceana found that more than one in five fish they tested from supermarkets and restaurants is mislabeled. It is a typical bait and switch, according to Beth Lowell of Oceana, who said “The consumer thinks that they’re getting a high-priced fish and instead they’re getting the cheaper alternative … they’re being ripped off.” Oceana’s test results are consistent with an investigation conducted by the New York state Attorney General (AG), which found that more than one in four samples, or 26.92% of the seafood they bought and tested was mislabeled. Moreover, in the NY AG investigation, they found fraud in nearly every category of fish that they tested. CNN reported that Oceana tested fish in 24 states, and did DNA tests on the fish they sampled — here is what they found.
The U.S. imports 80 percent of the seafood sold here, and the government began monitoring some imported seafood but only 13 species are tracked, and once in the U.S. they are no longer followed. NOAA, the government agency responsible for the program, told CBS News that the agency only tracks the seafood species that are “particularly vulnerable to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and seafood fraud,” and said the program was “not designed to trace seafood products after they enter the U.S. market.” Oceana has done the same testing for the last nine years and despite the increased regulation and public awareness, the problem has not improved over that time.
Why This Matters: Seafood fraud is more common than it should be. New technologies are making it easier and easier to track fish from boat to plate — even though the supply chain for fish can be very long. Seafood fraud is serious — not only because consumers are overcharged, but also because mislabeling masks overfishing of certain species, can cause serious health impacts (some species are more likely to contain mercury), and may trigger allergic reactions in unsuspecting consumers. The government should expand the current tracking program to cover more fish species, and they ought to conduct more tests themselves to try to locate the source of the fraud. This problem could be solved — all that is needed is the will to do it.
Why This Matters: The fact that Bayer is likely to get approval for this new crop, which would be resistant to the active chemical in Roundup, suggests that the losses in court had and will continue to have little impact on the company’s trajectory. Just because these herbicides won’t “harm” GE corn does not mean they won’t harm us.
As Pride Month has come to a close, we wanted to recognize members of the LGBTQ+ community who are breaking down barriers — gastronomic and cultural. Earlier this week a blog on Ecowatch.com called Food Tank spotlighted 24 collectives, farms, and other organizations that are working to strengthen LGBTQ+ representation in the food system, which […]
With supermarkets running low on meat, seafood is a healthy option, and sales of frozen seafood like shrimp and canned seafood (much of which is imported) are up over last year, according to some retailers. Most of the domestic seafood landed and sold in the U.S. comes from small fishing businesses and goes to restaurants and those sales are down as much as 95% across the country.
Why This Matters: Congress provided $300m for fishers in stimulus funding, but it is only a “drop in the bucket” of what is needed to keep fishers afloat said Alaskan commercial fisher Julie Decker on Tuesday at a forum convened by the Ocean Caucus Foundation.
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