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NYT: Tests Reveal Mislabeling of Fish


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Tests Reveal Mislabeling of Fish

Scientists aiming their gene sequencers at commercial seafood are discovering rampant labeling fraud in supermarket coolers and restaurant tables: cheap fish is often substituted for expensive fillets, and overfished species are passed off as fish whose numbers are plentiful.

Yellowtail stands in for mahi-mahi. Nile perch is labeled as shark, and tilapia may be the Meryl Streep of seafood, capable of playing almost any role.

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.

Labeling regulation means little if the “grouper” is really catfish or if gulf shrimp were spawned on a farm in Thailand.

Environmentalists, scientists and foodies are complaining that regulators are lax in policing seafood, and have been slow to adopt the latest scientific tools even though they are now readily available and easy to use.

“Customers buying fish have a right to know what the heck it is and where it’s from, but agencies like the F.D.A. are not taking this as seriously as they should,” said Michael Hirshfield, chief scientist of the nonprofit group Oceana, referring to the Food and Drug Administration.

On Wednesday, Oceana released a new report titled “Bait and Switch: How Seafood Fraud Hurts Our Oceans, Our Wallets and Our Health.” With rates of fraud in some species found to run as high as 70 percent, the report concluded, the United States needs to “increase the frequency and scope” of its inspections.

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Customers have a right to know? Um... how about "fraud is illegal"? If I sell glass as diamonds I'm pretty sure that my greatest concern won't be consumer rights complaints.

Actually, consumer rights complaints are the best option. You think they are gonna throw the CEO in jail for fraud via the corporation. You will never get it to him. The biggest deterent is the civil justice system.

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At Wegmans you can see the entire fish in a lot of instances, especially if you get there early.

I also catch my own fish during the spring and summer. I def know what Im eating then, and the condition of the fish while it was alive. I just purchased my first boat so me and my wife can go crabbing and fishing. its Rockfish season, and I love me some rockfish parmasan and wasabi crusted rockfish.

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Food Fraud is not just restricted to fish. It's everywhere.

Honey diluted with corn syrup or sugar beets, but no mention of that on the label.

Vietnamese catfish sold as flounder, red snapper and grouper. Also, “wild” salmon raised on a farm.

Sheep’s milk cheese that’s really made with cow's milk.

Pinot Noir allegedly filled with cheaper syrah and merlot.

French cognac diluted with a cheap U.S. brand.

Eggs from caged chickens sold as products of free-range birds.

Buffalo mozzarella that is actually 30% cow’s milk, and run-of-the-mill prosciutto sold as Parma ham.

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At Wegmans you can see the entire fish in a lot of instances, especially if you get there early.

I also catch my own fish during the spring and summer. I def know what Im eating then, and the condition of the fish while it was alive. I just purchased my first boat so me and my wife can go crabbing and fishing. its Rockfish season, and I love me some rockfish parmasan and wasabi crusted rockfish.

Hey Stew, if it's not a secret family recipe, post or PM me that recipe for Wasabi Crusted Rockfish,, My wife and I are very interested.

Thanks!

~Bang

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Hey Stew, if it's not a secret family recipe, post or PM me that recipe for Wasabi Crusted Rockfish,, My wife and I are very interested.

Thanks!

~Bang

texting my wife now...

---------- Post added May-27th-2011 at 04:01 PM ----------

5oz wasabi peas

1 egg

1 cup of flower

1 cup of milk

salt

canola oil.

crush wasabi peas, not too fine. Add a little salt. (very small amount of salt)

mix milk and egg into an egg wash.

roll fish in flour

dip fish into egg wwash/milk mixture

roll fish into wasabi peas

let set while setting up cast iron frying pan with 3 tbspoons of canola. heat on low until oil is warm, then turn heat up to high. saute for 90 seconds on each side

serve over risotto.

Optional: immediately after taking fish out of frying pan, squeeze a small amount of fresh lime over top. I like it like this, my wife does not.

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  • 1 year later...

Bait and switch: fish fraud flourishes

When you order snapper, grouper or white tuna at your local restaurant, market or sushi emporium, there is almost a one-in-three chance you will be served tilapia or some less expensive fish instead, warn researchers who sampled 60 South Florida businesses.

Most alarming was one instance where a fish sold as grouper turned out to be king mackerel, a species federal and state authorities advise women of childbearing age not to eat because of high mercury levels that can harm a fetus.

According to the results of a study released today by the conservation group Oceana, the fish most often mislabeled was red snapper. In six of seven samples from restaurants and markets, a consumer got something else.

"Given that Florida is a state that tests regularly, I was wondering if we would find any fraud at all," said marine scientist Kimberly Warner, chief author of the study. "Why in the world would people think they can get away with this? That it's happening is quite shocking."

Among the most egregious offenders were sushi restaurants. White tuna was mislabeled 100 percent of the time in the 31 sushi venues sampled, as was whitefish and yellowtail, the survey found.

In sushi, a common substitute for white tuna or whitefish was escolar, also called snake mackerel, another fish with a health warning. "It can cause severe gastrointestinal problems,'' said Warner.

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I think the coolest thing about all free markets is how they don't need any regulatory oversight to choke the success out of them since left to themselves they do nothing but serve the people in efficient, decent, honest, and socially productive fashion. From supermarkets to insurance companies to bankers to investment firms to used car dealers, in free markets I trust.

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The question is "What's in a name?" What difference does it make if it's grouper or not if it tastes good. Obviously most people can't taste the difference anyway. The only problem I have is that it is false advertising. Just call it what it is and market it as some new trendy "upscale" fish.

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I think the coolest thing about all free markets is how they don't need any regulatory oversight to choke the success out of them since left to themselves they do nothing but serve the people in efficient, decent, honest, and socially productive fashion. From supermarkets to insurance companies to bankers to investment firms to used car dealers, in free markets I trust.

Only works if you can hold them accountable. Just remember that the chamber of commerce will tell you they want the free market to sort this out, but also lobby against consumer protection acts and the civil justice system that actually holds them accountable.

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McDonald's is the worst, they fraudulently mislabel their product as food all the time.

As does Olive Garden in regards to Italian.

You know, I never had anything against OG until the infamous thread and I haven't been there since. But I've been trying to avoid chain restaurants (sit down, not fast food) for a while.

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I think the coolest thing about all free markets is how they don't need any regulatory oversight to choke the success out of them since left to themselves they do nothing but serve the people in efficient, decent, honest, and socially productive fashion. From supermarkets to insurance companies to bankers to investment firms to used car dealers, in free markets I trust.

We should just get government to regulate everything, so that more free-market consumer groups can expose how poor of a job they do just like they did in this article with regards to fish labeling.

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We should just get government to regulate everything, so that more free-market consumer groups can expose how poor of a job they do just like they did in this article with regards to fish labeling.

I'm in, but don't see any need for you. :pfft:

Yes, the regulators were lax. They need to be held accountable (just as in the other arenas where regulators failed). But it was the dishonest and deceptive actions of the free market agents (just like in those other arenas) that created the transgression. It was sarcasm directed at an oft-endorsed idea I've lampooned before, that a decidedly unfettered free market is not likely going to be some paragon of virtuous or even competent behaviors. I was only half serious in my post, exaggerating in service to the sarcasm (since now I feel I should explain it to you). I often will post in sarcasm while not being totally serious. A crazy concept, I know. :pfft:

I'm pretty sure most members who have been around awhile and have been paying attention, know that I am hardly given to simplistic views on complex matters when I am being comletely serious. I certainly am no fan of over-regulating to the point where it strangles the vitality of a market. It is a complex matter.

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