According to a new study by Oceana, the ocean conservation group, many NYC restaurants and grocery stores are inaccurately labeling their seafood by substituting cheaper fish for more expensive varieties. In fact, 39 percent of the fish examined in the study was inaccurately labeled. DNA analysis was used to determine what was sold.
This fraud can be potentially dangerous for consumers because of allergic reactions, foodborne illnesses, and the mercury levels in fish. Pregnant women, who are supposed to avoid fish high mercury levels, may inadvertently be consuming fish with high mercury because of mislabeling.
Oceana has found seafood fraud in other cities as well, and therefore is a regional problem as well.