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Bait and Switch: The Harmful Mislabeling of Fish

Gross. Just Gross.

If the environmental consequences weren’t enough reason to swear off fish a newly released study by OCEANA found that seafood fraud (the mislabeling of fish) is wide spread.  Of particular concern are fish species the FDA advises against eating, either because of high mercury content or unpleasant digestive side effects.

What kinds of fish were mislabeled? We’re not talking about already questionable fish sticks, which everyone knows are chicken. No, we are talking about over 13 different kinds of fish, from some of the finest dining establishments in New York City. Of the 142 samples taken 56 were mislabeled (39%).  Previous tests in other cities revealed similar numbers: Los Angeles (55%), Boston (48%), Miami (31%).  Samples were taken at random from groceries (both small independents and large chains), restaurants, and sushi bars.

Two of the more disturbing factoids in the study:

“100 percent of the 16 sushi bars tested sold mislabeled fish.”

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