Maybe the latest crime show spinoff ought to be CSI: Seafood. More than one-fifth of the nearly 200 pieces of seafood bought at retail stores and restaurants in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut weren't what they claimed to be, according to an investigation in the December issue of Consumer Reports.
To verify the identities, an outside lab used DNA testing method similar to the genetic fingerprinting that criminal investigators use. The results revealed that the fresh and frozen samples were sometimes mislabeled as a different fish species, incompletely labeled or misidentified by employees.
"Whether deliberate or not, substitution hurts consumers three ways: in their wallet, when expensive seafood is switched for less desirable, cheaper fish; in their health, when they mistakenly eat species that are high in mercury or other contaminants; and in their conscience, if they find out they've mistakenly bought species whose numbers are low," said Kim Kleman, editor-in-chief of the magazine.
Highlights from the findings:
For more information on labeling, shoppers can visit www.GreenerChoices.org.