Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Will California Tackle Seafood Fraud Through Labeling Legislation?

Food
Will California Tackle Seafood Fraud Through Labeling Legislation?

There is a growing demand for product labeling to protect our health and environment, from genetically engineered foods to flame retardants in baby products

The latest call for transparency through labeling? Tackling seafood fraud.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Yesterday the California Senate unanimously passed seafood labeling legislation, SB 1138. The bill, authored by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), requires all shellfish and fish be correctly and accurately labeled with their common names.

“SB 1138 will address the growing problem of seafood mislabeling. To protect our health, economy and oceans it is essential that seafood be labeled accurately,” said Sen. Padilla. "Honesty is always the best policy."

Oceana, the bill sponsor, conducted an extensive worldwide investigation between 2010 and 2012, which entailed collecting more than 1,200 seafood samples from sushi venues, restaurants and grocery stores in 21 states to check for honesty in labeling.

The results were shocking. DNA testing revealed 33 percent of samples analyzed were mislabeled. For example, 93 percent of red snapper in the study was mislabeled; 28 different species were identified out of 120 samples of “red snapper” tested; and 17 of the samples weren’t even in the snapper family. California scored among the worst in the country.

Fraud cheats honest fishermen and all those along the seafood supply chain who play by the rules, as well as consumers.

“Seafood fraud can undermine conservation efforts aimed at preventing overfishing, eliminating illegal fishing and reducing impacts from damaging fishing gears,” according to Geoff Shester, California campaign director for Oceana. “Combating seafood fraud will give seafood consumers more confidence in making positive choices for a healthy ocean ecosystem.”

With 1,700+ species of global seafood for sale in the U.S., SB 1138 will arm consumers with the information they need to make decisions to protect their health and the ocean, and will begin to turn the tide on seafood fraud.

The bill will be sent to the Assembly where it must receive a full vote to be considered by the governor.

——–

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

5 Things to Consider When Ordering Seafood

Seafood Mercury Levels Trigger Federal Lawsuit Against FDA

Canadian 10th Grader Discovers Radioactive Imported Seafood Long After Government Stopped Testing

——–

A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Long-finned pilot whales are seen during a 1998 stranding in Marion Bay in Tasmania, Australia. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A protest in solidarity with the Wetʼsuwetʼen's anti-pipeline struggle, at Canada House in Trafalgar Square on March 1, 2020 in London, England. More than 200 environmental groups had their Facebook accounts suspended days before an online solidarity protest. Ollie Millington / Getty Images

Facebook suspended more than 200 accounts belonging to environmental and Indigenous groups Saturday, casting doubt on the company's stated commitments to addressing the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
The Västra Hamnen neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, runs on renewable energy. Tomas Ottosson / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Harry Kretchmer

By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.

Read More Show Less
An Extinction Rebellion protester outside the Bank of England on Oct. 14, 2019 in London, England. John Keeble / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch