retail news in context, analysis with attitude

CBS News reports that advocacy group Oceana is out with a new study saying that 30 percent of shrimp products tested were mislabeled.

According to the story, "The most common error was labeling farmed whiteleg shrimp as 'wild' shrimp or 'Gulf' shrimp. In one case, a bag of salad-sized shrimp purchased in the Gulf had a branded coral shrimp, an aquarium fish not meant for consumption … The biggest misrepresentations occurred in New York, where 43 percent of the shrimp tested were inaccurately labeled. Products tested from Washington, DC and the Gulf of Mexico were improperly labeled around 30 percent of the time, while in Portland the rate was much lower at 5 percent."

Oceana said that it "tested a total of 143 shrimp products from 111 grocery stores and restaurants in New York, Washington, D.C., the Gulf of Mexico and Portland, Oregon." It is using the results of the study to press its case for expanded labeling regulatory efforts and implementation of greater supply chain transparency.
KC's View:
These are the kinds of reports that undermine consumer confidence in the food industry, and a really good reason that both retailers and manufacturers should make correcting these problems a high priority.

As for expanded federal funding that would ramp up enforcement efforts…I wouldn't count on it anytime soon.