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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:56 PM

Study finds ‘widespread seafood fraud’ at restaurants



Matthew Kenrick
A new study from conservation group Oceana found that 39 percent of New York restaurant fish DNA-tested by the group was mislabeled. That, combined with past studies of Los Angeles (55 percent), Boston (48 percent), and Miami (31 percent), paints a sad and even scary picture of what diners can expect when they sit down at American seafood restaurants.Mislabeled fish was found at a range of eateries from low- to high-priced, and at every sushi spot tested. The New York Times reports:

In some cases, cheaper types of fish were substituted for expensive species. In others, fish that consumers have been urged to avoid because stocks are depleted, putting the species or a fishery at risk, was identified as a type of fish that is not threatened. Although such mislabeling violates laws protecting consumers, it is hard to detect.Some of the findings present public health concerns. Thirteen types of fish, including tilapia and tilefish, were falsely identified as red snapper. Tilefish contains such high mercury levels that the federal Food and Drug Administration advises women who are pregnant or nursing and young children not to eat it.

Ninety-four percent of fish sold as white tuna was not tuna at all but in many cases a fish known as snake mackerel, or escolar, which contains a toxin that can cause severe diarrhea if more than a few ounces of meat are ingested.
“There are a lot of flummoxed people out there who are trying to buy fish carefully and trying to shop their conscience, but they can’t if this kind of fraud is happening,” said Kimberly Warner, a senior scientist at Oceana, who led the study.

Andrew Moesel, a spokesman for the New York State Restaurant Association, said that restaurants were victims, too, when it came to fish fraud. “Restaurants would be very concerned that a high percentage of fish are not what they had ordered,” he said. “Unless you’re very sophisticated, you may not be able to tell the difference between certain species of fish when you receive them.”



http://grist.org/news/study-finds-widespread-seafood-fraud-at-restaurants/

32 replies, 1937 views

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Study finds ‘widespread seafood fraud’ at restaurants (Original post)
octoberlib Dec 2012 OP
Xipe Totec Dec 2012 #1
Ohio Joe Dec 2012 #4
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #6
Xipe Totec Dec 2012 #21
Xipe Totec Dec 2012 #23
frylock Dec 2012 #20
msongs Dec 2012 #2
DJ13 Dec 2012 #9
Le Taz Hot Dec 2012 #15
bluestate10 Dec 2012 #13
Le Taz Hot Dec 2012 #16
cilla4progress Dec 2012 #3
Marrah_G Dec 2012 #7
jberryhill Dec 2012 #5
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #8
TheDebbieDee Dec 2012 #10
jberryhill Dec 2012 #11
NYC_SKP Dec 2012 #12
jberryhill Dec 2012 #27
bluestate10 Dec 2012 #14
REP Dec 2012 #18
thelordofhell Dec 2012 #19
TheMadMonk Dec 2012 #17
Mariana Dec 2012 #31
nc4bo Dec 2012 #32
KoKo Dec 2012 #22
ohheckyeah Dec 2012 #24
MotherPetrie Dec 2012 #25
Warpy Dec 2012 #26
Rex Dec 2012 #28
no_hypocrisy Dec 2012 #29
smirkymonkey Dec 2012 #30

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:58 PM

1. Save yourself grief, if you're in Boston

Go to Legal Seafoods.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:02 PM

4. oh yeah...

Some of the best seafood around

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:04 PM

6. Actually I believe they had issues also

You want to go to a shop where they can tell you exactly where their fish comes from. I've started only eating local ocean fish (easy here living on the northshore of boston) and wild caught salmon.

I was heartbroken to hear my favorite asian restaurant Kowloons had also used subpar species in place of the more pricey fish advertized on the menu.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:46 PM

21. I'd have to see a link...

I've never had a meal at Legal that I regretted.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:56 PM

23. And, if you really want to feel sure, you have to catch it yourself

which I have.

Both in Boston, and in the Gulf of Mexico.

There is nothing finer than freshly caught Mackerel from Boston Harbor.

Or Blue crabs, caught at night by lamp light.

Or corvinas (red fish) caught while surf fishing in Matamoros and cooked on the shore, in garlic oil...


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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:39 PM

20. word..

if you're in San Diego, Point Loma Seafoods or Mitch's. You can watch them unloading yellows straight off the boats.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:59 PM

2. simple solution. quit eating dead fish. they will all be gone in 20 years anyway nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:07 PM

9. I tried eating live fish, but the wiggling drove me crazy

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:17 PM

15. LOL!

Very good!

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:14 PM

13. Not really. Aquaculture has advanced impressively. Most "seafood" will be grown in high tech

tank farms with greater food purity that exists now. I recently had farm raised Littleneck clams, found them better than the wild version.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:19 PM

16. Yesss!!!!

On the aquaculture. Australia has been kicking ass in this area and the U.S. is SLOWLY coming into it. My husband wants to convert a section of our back yard into aquaculture -- an expensive start up but oh-so-worth it to have a safe source of fish.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:59 PM

3. This kills me

Fish is a staple of my diet, and there is nothing better than a great piece of fish.

What is one to do?

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Response to cilla4progress (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:05 PM

7. Shop carefully

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:02 PM

5. This happens with the "Rocky Mountain Oysters" in Colorado


At many of the restaurants, the Rocky Mountain Oysters are not oysters at all!

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:07 PM

8. lol

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:08 PM

10. Rocky Mountain Oysters aren't oysters? Oh, balls! What the heck have I been eating?

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Response to TheDebbieDee (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:12 PM

11. Don't get testy, just steer clear of them

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:14 PM

12. I've just eaten seventeen of these things.

And you're telling me they aren't seafood????


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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:53 AM

27. You should see what I got when I ordered the cod piece

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:16 PM

14. Yeah. They get taken out of the shell early.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:25 PM

18. Oh, nuts! I just bought a sack full!

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:35 PM

19. Next thing you're gonna tell me is that these aren't Fries..........

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:24 PM

17. Buy whole fish and fillet them yourself. /nt

 

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:06 PM

31. That's the only way to be sure.

Although you could also have them fillet it for you, while you watch.

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Response to TheMadMonk (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:14 PM

32. +1

I want to see the whole fish laid out, uncut, same with shrimp - heads on please so I can see everything.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:49 PM

22. Flounder lovers beware...

I know this sounds like a joke...because probably few here like flounder...but, I haven't had real flounder in around five years.

First time I was served some fat fish (stuffed with crabmeat as odered) and took a look at it when served I told waiter it wasn't flounder it was something else. He said "Oh No this is Flounder, you just don't recognize it because it's stuffed with crabmeat.' We were out to eat with others so I didn't want to make a fuss. First bite confirmed it was something else...with no taste. Sort of like catfish it tasted.

It happened several times after that and I sent order back and ended up with something else without anyone making a fuss.

Then an article came out that Flounder is now being substituted by something called "white fish." I even had it served to me mislabled in a famous local seafood restaurant oin SC Coast where the "flounder was in season" so they had it featured on the blackboard. If they were fooling the locals then it seems no one anymore knows what fresh flounder looks or tastes like, anymore.



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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:06 PM

24. The only fish we eat is

fresh caught by my husband out of a mountain stream.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:26 PM

25. Yuck. Glad I don't eat fish or any kind of seafood.

 

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:41 PM

26. It's also at fish counters.

Scallops are especially prone to counterfeiting, especially around here. It also happened back in Boston, to the point that I'd buy a bushel off the boat, shuck them myself, and freeze them for later. Frozen real scallops were a hell of a lot better than fresh fake scallops.

I haven't gotten burned by any of the flash frozen stuff at Costco. I have gotten burned by the supposedly flash frozen stuff elsewhere in town to the point I avoided fish completely until I got a Costco membership.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:56 AM

28. I don't eat fish anymore.

.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:42 AM

29. On a related note, I remember when a product purporting to be crab was "introduced" into the market

called "sea legs". It didn't have the texture or taste of crab. The supermarkets and restaurants counted on the dull tastebuds and cognitive dissonance of the consumers. The tip-off before the first bite was the "affordability", meaning the price was much lower than for lump crabmeat.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:43 PM

30. A Boston Fisherman recently wrote in an Op-Ed Lettter that Cod was so over-fished that

most of what was labeled as Cod was something else entirely. Which really disturbs me because I love Cod. He said that we should stop fishing for Cod for years to allow them to reproduce and replenish their numbers, which makes a lot of sense. I hope that local fishermen will pay attention to his warning, because I would hate to see them become extinct.

Even if I had to give up eating Cod, I would, just to restore the balance in the ocean supplies. We definitely take too much and we don't need to.

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