Marine conservation group Oceana has uncovered a nationwide shrimp scandal that has seafood lovers feeling queasy. Using DNA testing, the group examined 143 shrimp dishes from stores and restaurants across America, finding that a whopping 30 percent were misrepresented. Their findings, which ranged from mislabeling farm-raised shrimp as wild, or misrepresenting species of shrimp being sold, have prompted authorities to push for the passing of the Safety and Fraud Enforcement for Seafood Act, which has been introduced to Congress and awaits approval.
Oceana’s survey uncovered some disturbing results in the shrimp dishes they studied. One major issue was the mislabeling of whiteleg shrimp, which was said to have been caught in the Gulf of Mexico but was actually raised in farms. This mislabeling brings up issues of sustainability for shoppers who pay extra for what they believe is wild shrimp, which is said to be healthier and more environmentally-conscious than farm-raised shrimp.
Other samples found common varieties of shrimp labeled as pricier species like royal red or rock shrimp. Even more concerning, three store-bought samples were totally unidentifiable with DNA testing. This lack of transparency in the supply chain is not only worrisome for buyers seeking more expensive shrimp, but also for health and safety reasons. Oceana’s findings will hopefully help push through the proposed act, and result in a safer and better regulated sourcing of seafood in the United States.
Via Huffington Post