Consumers Duped by Mislabeled Seafood

Massachusetts cracks down on establishments serving cheaper fish to customers

flikr/ralph and jenny

Something amiss with your fish?  You may not have bought the species you thought. 

The Boston Globe has revealed that the mislabeling of seafood is a rampant problem in the Massachusetts area. This issue was first reported a year ago by the same publication, but recent investigations have found that no significant changes have been made, and consumers are still being scammed. 

Many restaurants and grocers are mislabeling cheaper alternatives as more high-quality fish. In many sushi restaurants for example, diners who order albacore tuna, a mild white fish, commonly receive a cut of the oilier escobar instead.  

A bill recently discussed in a Massachusetts State House hearing would ensure that customers are getting the fish they request. The Joint Committee on Public Health is proposing fines of up to $800 for establishments caught mislabeling, as well as penalties such as suspension or revocation of their operation licenses. 

Another bill is on the table to enforce labeling of saltwater seafood for mercury and toxicity risks.  Nonprofit group Oceana has uncovered that this seafood swap-out happening around the country, and is behind Massachusetts initiatives to keep consumers informed not only for the sake of their wallets, but also for the sake of their health.  

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