retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Advocacy group Oceana is out with a new study saying that one in five of more than 25,000 samples of seafood tested worldwide was mislabeled.

By reviewing more than 200 published studies from 55 countries, Oceana said it "found seafood fraud present in each investigation with only one exception. The studies reviewed also found seafood mislabeling in every sector of the seafood supply chain: retail, wholesale, distribution, import/export, packaging/processing and landing."

The study also found that in the US, there has been an average fraud rate since 2014 of 28 percent, and that 58 percent "of the samples substituted for other seafood were a species that pose a health risk to consumers, meaning that consumers could be unwittingly eating fish that could make them sick."

In 65 percent of studies, the motivation for the seafood labeling was said to be economic.

The study comes out, Ocean says, "as ocean leaders from all over the world prepare to gather in Washington, DC for the Our Ocean Conference next week. Earlier this year, the President’s Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud released a proposed rule to address these issues that would require traceability for 13 'at-risk' types of seafood from the fishing boat or farm to the U.S. border. Oceana contends that while this is a good step forward, the government needs to expand the final rule to include all seafood species sold in the U.S. and extend it throughout the entire supply chain, from boat or farm to plate."
KC's View:
To me, this is both worrying and unconscionable.

In this day and age, there is absolutely no excuse for not having airtight regulations and procedures that guarantee that people are buying and eating the actual products that they are paying for. Now, I recognize that companies cannot solve this problem in a vacuum, but it seems to me that the industry has to be very concerned about reports that use words like "fraud" and talk about percentages that are significant, not negligible.