Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Fraudulent fish is a more common problem than most people realize. A lawsuit brought by the Organic Consumers Association alleges that fish distributors Mowi Ducktrap and Mowi USA engage in deceptive marketing of smoked salmon sold under the brand Ducktrap River of Maine. Apparently, this brand is sold as “sustainable salmon from Maine” but it was actually farm-raised salmon from Europe that is given antibiotics including oxytetracycline and a formaldehyde-based disinfectant and bleach, according to the complaint. This fraudulent marketing is not just a one-off. In fact, last month, research by scientists at the University of North Carolina published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that “34% of 106 shrimp sold as local by 60 vendors across North Carolina was mislabeled.”
Why This Matters: Many people are trying to cut back on meat — particularly during the COVID pandemic, when meatpacking plants closed, or worse, kept operating despite widespread transmission of the disease among workers at those facilities. Seafood is a supposedly healthy alternative to meat, but not if it is full of antibiotics and other chemicals. Unfortunately, there is little detection and enforcement of violations like these.
According to The Counter, another similar lawsuit filed last June by animal rights advocacy group Animal Outlook against Cooke Aquaculture and its True North brand alleges that the company’s claims that its fish are grown in “sustainable” aquaculture systems amount to false advertising. The catch is that there is no government-mandated definition of what can be called “natural” or “sustainable” on food packaging. And even its “origin” can be claimed to be “from Maine”– as long as it is not being sold raw or unprocessed, which very little fish is in the U.S. Thus, as The Counter explains, if “a fish was farmed in Canada and shipped to a smokehouse in Maine, it really is ‘from Maine,’ in the eyes of U.S. regulators.” Atlantic salmon in Maine are an endangered species — the cannot be caught or sold commercially.
In North Carolina, researchers found that a third of the shrimp sold as “local” was actually “whiteleg shrimp, an imported and globally farmed species native to the eastern Pacific.” Similar research in North Carolina, which was published in the journal PeerJ, found that out of 90 % of the samples of red snapper (a frequently mislabeled fish) that they gathered from restaurants, markets, and grocery stores across the state were mislabeled. The NGO Oceana conducted a similar study nationwide last year. They found, according to CNN, that DNA tests showed that about 21% of the fish researchers sampled was not what it was called on the label or menu. Oceana tested more than 400 samples from 277 locations in 24 states and in the District of Columbia, showing that the problem is widespread.
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer If climate change keeps temperatures rising, staple crops in eight East and Southern African countries could decrease by up to 80% by midcentury. According to a new report by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a 2-degree Celsius increase in temperature (which the world is currently on […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer With drought continuing in the West, and the summer’s historic floods throughout Europe, the world is wondering how climate change will also affect the way we eat. This controversial question was addressed by agriculture experts, NGOs, government officials, and corporate leaders at Peas, Trees, and 1.5 Degrees, a Climate […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer In the lead-up to today’s United Nations Food Systems Summit, young activists spoke about their priorities for the global gathering at yesterday’s Food is the Future event. At the event, youth representatives from worldwide interviewed adult peers in the world of food system work. In an effort to […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.