Target: United States Senate
Goal: Create a bill that imposes strict regulations on seafood markets
Recent studies have revealed shocking evidence that displays how common seafood mislabeling is in the United States. DNA tests were conducted on seafood in several cities across the U.S., and the results show that a large portion of the time, seafood is labeled as something completely different than what it really is. This is a very common deception device across the country and it is imperative that we do something to change it.
The results of the DNA testing showed that around 40% of seafood in the United States is mislabeled. In cities like New York and Los Angeles, these numbers are greater, with about 55% of seafood being mislabeled. That means that more often than not, people in these cities are eating something other than what they thought they purchased. In most cases, it was a very common fish that was being passed off as a rarer and expensive fish. In other cases, however, the mislabeling was completely random, appearing to be due to negligence. According to the Boston Globe’s research, in Boston, “All 23 white tuna samples tested as some other type of fish, usually escolar, which is nicknamed the ex-lax fish by some in the industry because of the digestion problems it can cause.”
This is one way the substitutions can become dangerous. Several of these species of fish could make people sick. Even worse, people with allergies could have a reaction from eating a species they’re allergic to, thinking it is a different species. Another danger is that fish high in mercury are being substituted as safer, low-mercury fish. These deceptive practices are compromising the health of American consumers.
To fix this issue, we need more American resources directed towards oversight of the seafood markets. As of right now, fish inspectors are not even trained to differentiate between fish species, they just make sure the fish does not have any harmful bacteria. We need a law with strict regulations on seafood and we need inspectors who are capable of enforcing these regulations. Please sign the petition below to ask that the senate pass a law requiring stricter regulations on our seafood market.
Dear United States Senate,
Recent reports have revealed discoveries that seafood mislabeling in the United States is astonishingly high. On average, 40% of seafood is labeled as a species completely different than what it is. In large cities, up to about 55% of seafood is labeled incorrectly.
In many cases, this mislabeling is dangerous for American consumers. Many trusted species are being substituted by species known to make humans sick, and low-mercury fish are being substituted by others high in mercury. This is dangerous to all types of people, but could be especially detrimental if consumed by pregnant mothers. Mislabeling also poses dangers to people with allergies who may get sick after unknowingly eating a species to which they are allergic.
This is an urgent consumer health issue that needs immediate attention. We need more resources directed towards seafood oversight and stricter regulations. On behalf of American consumers, we are asking you to devise a law that will require seafood inspectors to be trained to differentiate fish species, and implement stricter health and safety regulations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: John from Tulsa, USA via Wikimedia Commons