Report: Increasing Amount of Fish Labeled IncorrectlyA new report shows some fishy findings in the seafood industry. Oceana tested more than 100 samples of fish from New York City markets and found that 40 percent of the fish wasn’t what the label said.
Aside from being dishonest, health experts say this could cause big problems for people with seafood allergies.
Seafood allergies, a real problem
According to ABC News, seafood allergies are among one of top allergens in U.S.
“Recent testing has revealed that dishonest labeling and fraudulent seafood substitution for certain species is rampant and widespread,” researchers from the ocean conservation group Oceana wrote in their report, which they said was based on DNA testing of 142 seafood samples collected from unidentified New York City grocery stores, restaurants and sushi bars.
“If [a person] is not allergic to the fish they think they are getting, and that fish is substituted with one to which they are allergic, they obviously could have a serious allergic reaction,” said Dr. David Fleischer, an associate professor of pediatric allergy and immunology at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado told ABC News. “Patients need to be able to trust the people they purchase fish from.”
Substituting cheaper fish
The report shows one of the most common “substitutions” was a type of snake mackerel. This fish, which has been linked to stomach problems, was substituted for white tuna. Other findings show high levels of mercury in fish.
While the findings are disturbing, experts say seafood is hard track. How a piece of fish gets from its origin to a dinner plate has many paths.
The FDA does have mandates on the seafood labels, but says they can’t comment on the current report from Oceana because it hasn’t been reviewed by the agency yet.
For now, experts advise seafood lovers to buy from trusted stores and to be wary of low priced seafood.