The FINANCIAL — According to the Los Angeles Times, a recent study has revealed that 94% of the fish labeled as white tuna in New York are actually escolar, a type of snake mackerel containing toxins that have been linked to digestive problems.
Additional DNA tests have revealed that 39% of 142 seafood samples taken from various grocery stores, restaurants, and sushi venues in New York were mislabeled. Also, out of 81 retail outlets in the New York area, 58 had improperly tagged items.
As WebWire said, seafood fraud is not just present in New York. Previous research has shown that 31% of seafood in Miami is mislabeled, 48% in Boston, and 55% in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Currently the U.S. imports 90 percent of its seafood sold to consumers, but it is difficult to detect who is responsible for the fraudulent practices.
“These widespread fraudulent labeling practices could pose serious health risks for many, including those with serious allergies to certain fish and pregnant women looking to decrease exposure to heavy metals,” states Charles Li, Ph.D., Director of PCR and DNA Analysis at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “EMSL Analytical uses FDA recommended fish DNA barcode technology to detect authenticity and to ensure products are sold for what they claim to be.”