Seafood Labeling Practices Are an Issue With Imported Fish

Seafood labeling fraud has been widespread and known to the FDA since 1991.

| October 16, 2012

  • raw fish on a plate
    There can be serious health risks, particularly for pregnant women, when seafood is improperly labeled.
    Photo by Fotolia/Studio Gi

  • raw fish on a plate

The following article has been posted with permission from Food Safety News.

The apparent widespread fraud involving seafood labeling practices around ports of entry for imported fish poses a serious health risk for some, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs to step up enforcement of this food, says a longtime U.S. Senator.

“It is unacceptable that proven fraud is occurring on such a widespread basis,” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, wrote Monday in a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. “Seafood fraud is not only deceptive marketing, but it can also pose serious health concerns, particularly for pregnant women seeking to limit exposure to heavy metals or individuals with serious allergies to certain types of fish.”

FDA has recognized seafood fraud as a problem since at least 1991.



“Seafood is a high-value product and it is a particularly attractive target for fraud,” says the agency’s Seafood Fraud website, which offers both guidance for the industry and tips on identifying certain fraudulent practices.

Boxer’s pressure on FDA is over a study released in April 2012 by Oceana, a world ocean conservation group that often takes on projects to draw consumer interest into its larger agenda to protect oceans. For the study, Oceana researchers in 2011 and 2012 collected and tested 119 seafood samples from grocery stores, restaurants and sushi bars.






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