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Salmon Fraud in Restaurants a Widespread Practice, According to New Study

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By    |   Wednesday, 28 Oct 2015 12:17 PM

Salmon fraud is widespread in restaurants, an advocacy organization claimed this week after testing fish across the country and finding that it's often not sold as advertised.

Oceana, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group started in 2011 to address fraud in the seafood industry, found in a new study that salmon is regularly mislabeled.

A shocking 43 percent of the 82 salmon samples taken from restaurants and grocery stores were mislabeled. DNA tests done on the samples revealed that 69 percent of mislabeling was in the form of farmed Atlantic salmon being sold as wild-catch fish.

"Americans might love salmon but, as our study reveals, they may be falling victim to a bait and switch," Beth Lowell, senior campaign director at Oceana, said in a statement. "When consumers opt for wild-caught U.S. salmon, they don't expect to get a farmed or lower-value product of questionable origins."

"This type of seafood fraud can have serious ecological and economic consequences. Not only are consumers getting ripped off, but responsible U.S. fishermen are being cheated when fraudulent products lower the price for their hard-won catch," Lowell continued.

The Daily Press reported that cities in Virginia — Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Richmond, and Fredericksburg — fared the worst among areas surveyed by Oceana. There, the organization reportedly found that 48 percent of all salmon samples sold in restaurants, grocery stores, and seafood markets were mislabeled.

That compared to 45 percent in Washington, D.C., 38 percent in Chicago, and 37 percent in New York City.

The study said that restaurants were five times more likely to have mislabeled salmon than grocery stores, while large grocery chains were more likely to have correct salmon identification than smaller grocery outlets.

It also concluded that salmon purchased out-of-season from all retail establishments were three times more likely to be mislabeled than salmon purchased during the commercial fishing season.

Fish labeled as "wild," "Alaskan," or "Pacific" were often found to be farmed Atlantic salmon. Similarly, salmon labeled "Chinook" often tested as being a different species altogether, according to Oceana.

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Salmon fraud is widespread in restaurants, an advocacy organization claimed this week after testing fish across the country and finding that it's often not sold as advertised.
salmon, fraud, restaurant, advertised, study
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2015-17-28
Wednesday, 28 Oct 2015 12:17 PM
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