One doesn’t check what kind of things they buy, including fish. They just assume that they’ve received what they want. Well, it couldn’t hurt to look into the details. Because recently, cases of mislabeling fishes have cropped up. These mishaps led to selling cheaper fishes as more expensive ones.
New York State’s attorney general’s office investigated this issue. Northeastern University helped them in the research. The University’s Ocean Genome Legacy center released the report this year. The information was being collected from late 2017. The research was to buy fish from various locations across the state. The center will study them extensively. They will then send them to the lab to confirm the findings. Daniel Distel, the director of the center, found obvious harm in this practice.
1. It could cause gastrointestinal problems for some people.
2. Also, the meat would also be more likely to have contaminants.
The purchase saw around half of the lot as mislabeled. Yet, Distel wasn’t much surprised. “Fish is one of the most traded food commodities on Earth,” he explained. “There are so many species, so many market names. On top of market names, you have common names and vernacular names. It can be very confusing.”
Some grocery stores’ works have fared well in the search. And yet, many are under suspicion. These companies are currently under investigation for consumer fraud. Distel claims of needing faster, on-the-spot genetic analysis for proper distribution. It would be better as compared to the current, FDA-approved method used to identify fish. The Center is doing all it can to improve this issue and the used technology. The researches are working to put together a catalog of DNA. It will be accessible to the public as well. This is as a reference point. Working with the companies to develop the tests would now take hours instead of days.
“DNA-based methods have can simplify the situation. This is only if the regulators are willing to consider taking these tests,” he said. “It has the potential to reduce mislabeling. Also, it’ll bring more transparency, sustainability, and safety to seafood marketing.”