Money: Fish mislabeling occurs all along supply chain, study reveals - PressFrom - Canada

MoneyFish mislabeling occurs all along supply chain, study reveals

07:55  11 february  2019
07:55  11 february  2019 Source:

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The New York Times. Environment|Tests Reveal Mislabeling of Fish . Recent studies by researchers in North America and Europe harnessing the new techniques have consistently found that 20 to 25 percent of the seafood products they check are fraudulently identified, fish geneticists say.

sampling along the supply chain , it is difficult to determine if fraud is occurring at the boat, during. processing, at the wholesale level, at the On the other hand, some of the lesser-sampled fish in our study revealed mislabeling even when only a. few were purchased, such as fish labeled as orange

Fish mislabeling occurs all along supply chain, study reveals© (CBC) Samples collected by researchers found 40 per cent of the seafood mislabelled was at the retail level.

Seafood lovers may be fishing for answers after a study by University of Guelph researchers suggests fish is being mislabeled at more than one point in Canada's supply chain.

Bob Hanner, an associate professor in the department of integrative biology at the U of G says researchers found mislabeling was compounding at each stage of the supply chain.

"Nearly 20 per cent of the samples being imported into Canada were mislabeled," said Hanner.

"At the wholesale and processor level that was closer to 30 per cent. And then at the retail level closer to 40 per cent."

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The findings reveal that mislabelling happens before fish are imported into Canada, as well as throughout the supply chain , Hanner added. That might help curb the problem with fish imports, Hanner said, but this new study shows a need for verification testing at multiple points along the

In some cases, the fish get mislabeled at the beginning of the supply chain . In other cases, it's restaurant owners or chefs who never change the menu once a favorite fish Here at The Salt, we were wondering whether those of us outside of Boston should be worried about mislabeling , too.

Hanner and the University worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to collect 203 samples from 12 species of fish. Researchers used DNA bar coding to determine the species.

Fraud or honest mistake?

The misidentification is bit of both human error and fraud, said Hanner.

Anyone buying fish that has already been skinned and processed may not know the difference, as some seafood is hard to tell apart.

"So we do see evidence of low value commodities being substituted for a species of a higher market value," Hanner said.

"Things like farmed Tilapia being sold as Red Snapper, farmed salmon being sold as Wild Pacific salmon."

Hanner says if mislabeling happens in error, consumers could sometimes also be getting more expensive fish at a cheaper price. However, he said there's no evidence that ever happens.

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Supply & Trade. Environmental activist group Oceana has released a new study on seafood mislabeling , this time claiming that more than 40 percent of salmon Oceana said the study shows salmon was mislabeled to artificially inflate its value, either by labeling a cheaper species as one that

Mislabeling is not just occurring in the US. In Canada, a study found 34 of 153 fish samples from grocery stores were mislabeled.[39] In Ireland, scientists found that 28% of cod products in Ireland are mislabeled and 7% are mislabeled in Britain.[40] In a study conducted by the Australian government

Barcode solution

In the decade he has been documenting seafood fraud Hanner said the focus was on the consumer and retailer, but until this study researchers never knew which level along the supply chain the mislabeling was occurring.

Researchers want to see Canada move to a similar system used in Europe where the scientific Latin name of the genus and species is placed on the label.

A DNA test would make it easy to determine if the fish is actually what the retail label indicates.

That also means testing should be done at different points along the journey from processing to consumer in order to determine where the mislabeling occurred

Ask questions

Until that happens, Hanner suggests consumers ask question of retailers and food service establishments about what they're eating.

"Where the fish came from; what species is it? I think are good questions," said Hanner.

Alternatively, consumers could buy the product earlier in the process. "Buy less processed products. You know if you buy it with the head on or catch it yourself you're a lot more likely to get what you're paying for."

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