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Quartz reports on a new study from the New York State Attorney General’s office saying that “seafood mislabeling is ‘rampant’ across New York.” The report says that “two-thirds of the supermarket chains the attorney general’s office purchased from had at least one instance of fish mislabeling,” with five chains - Food Bazaar, Foodtown, Stew Leonard’s, Uncle Giuseppe’s, and Western Beef - mislabeling more than half their seafood.

According to the story, “The attorney general’s office purchased fish from 155 stores across 29 supermarket brands throughout the state, and then sent them to a lab for testing. A remarkable number of the specimens—more than one in every four, or 27%—were not what the supermarkets said they were. Instead, they were often completely different, cheaper, and less sustainably raised species.

“People who buy lemon sole, red snapper, and grouper in particular are more likely than not to receive an entirely different fish, according to the report.” The report also says that “28% of ‘wild’ salmon was actually farmed salmon, despite costing one-third more on average.”

Quartz notes that “fish fraud is not restricted to New York. Little oversight and regulation has led to fish fraud nationwide. In 2013, Oceana, a nonprofit ocean protection group, took 1,215 samples of fish from across the US and genetically tested them. It found that 59% of the fish labeled ‘tuna’ sold at restaurants and grocery stores in the US is not actually tuna.”
KC's View:
If stores are being hoodwinked by seafood suppliers, it is up to them to put better systems into place to make sure that this can’t happen … that means doing their own testing and simply being more vigilant and transparent. At the end of the day, I as a consumer hold the retailers with which I do business completely responsible for accuracy and honesty - I don’t know the suppliers, but I do know the retailers.

They have a responsibility. Get it right, or get a new customer.