Aquaculture for all

The Fraudulent Fish of America

Salmonids Marketing Food safety & handling +4 more

US - Fish is the most frequently faked food Americans buy. In the business, it's called "species adulteration" selling a cheaper fish such as pen-raised Atlantic salmon as wild Alaska salmon.

When Consumer Reports tested 23 supposedly wild-caught salmon fillets bought nationwide in 2005-2006, only 10 were wild salmon, reports USA Today. According to an article published earlier today, the rest were farmed.

The news organisation goes on to claim that in 2004, University of North Carolina scientists found 77 per cent of fish labeled red snapper was actually something else. "Last year, the Chicago Sun-Times tested fish at 17 sushi restaurants and found that fish being sold as red snapper actually was mostly tilapia".

"It's really just fraud, plain and simple," Gavin Gibbons of the National Fisheries Institute, told USA Today.

One thing consumers don't need to worry about is scallops. Tales of skate wings cut into circles and sold as scallops are common. But Randolph says the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never found an actual case of it.

Salmon is tricky. Randolph does have one tip, though. Farmed salmon gets its coloring from dyes added to food pellets the fish are fed, while wild salmon gets it from the plankton they eat.

"When you cook it, the wild salmon retains its color, and in the aquaculture salmon, the color tends to leak out," she says.

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