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BioFit Supplement - The seafood supply chain from a fraudulent perspective

by faina marco (2021-03-19)

Numerous studies and research warn of this scam on a global scale that can endanger public health
You go to the supermarket, order fish and buy what they give you. You only look at the price and the appearance. Big mistake. Have you ever wondered where it comes from? Or if it is really the species they are selling you? Are they cheating us? Well it seems that it is.
The fish is one of the foods most counterfeited in the world. This food is one of the five most fraudulent products in Europe, and in Spain we are not spared.
Fish fraud in Spain
In Spain we buy and consume large quantities of 'fake' fish. This was confirmed by a study by the CEU San Pablo University of Madrid, which found that 32.5% of the bonito del norte (or albacore) on the market was not authentic.
32.5% of the bonito del norte (or white tuna) on the Spanish market is not authentic
The investigation determined that this was likely to be replaced by other less valuable species, such as yellowfin tuna, the little tunny, the melva the list, the bigeye or other types of nice. The fraud occurred, above all, in frozen products.
The Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) also detected irregularities in 25% of the products made with frozen or fresh tuna; 11.3% in canned tuna, 12.2% in semi-canned anchovy, and 6.5% in dried salted cod.
False labeling
We do not realize the deception because the labels are false. This was demonstrated by a study carried out in 2011 and published in the ' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry ', this time focused on hake. The investigation revealed that 40% of this type of fish that is sold in Spain has a fake origin. On the label it says that it is American or European hake, when in fact it is African.
40% of the hake sold in Spain has a fake origin
The Labelfish project placed fraud in fresh or frozen fish at 4.9% in our country, and determined that there are levels of fraud in tuna that are higher than the average for European countries. At the European level, the least fraud occurs in sole (2.89%), cod (3.5%) and haddock (3.7%). In tuna, fraud stands at 6.88%; in anchovy, by 15.5%, and in hake, by 11.1%.
In restaurants they also scam us
Be careful, consumers are not only victims of supermarkets, because the scam also occurs in restaurants, since one out of every three fish served in our country does not correspond to what we have asked for, according to the OCU (Organization of Consumers and Users).
One out of every three fish served in our country in restaurants does not correspond to what we have ordered
Asti, the technology center expert in marine and food innovation, warned about this in 2018 after analyzing 200 restaurants. The agency pointed out that half of them do not serve their customers the fish that appears on the menu of their establishments.
To reach these conclusions, the researchers took more than 300 samples, from which it was concluded that most of the irregularities occurred with species such as grouper, butterfish, dogfish, sole, hake and tuna red.
The study showed that hake, for example, is replaced in many establishments by a cheaper variety from Chile and Namibia, which costs between 2 and 3 euros per kilo.
A hoax on a global scale
Not only in Spain they strain it with fish. A report by the marine conservation organization Oceana in 2016, warned that it is a problem on a global scale.
After analyzing 25,000 samples of seafood from 55 different countries and studying 200 investigations, they concluded that one in five was mislabeled, which means that we buy fish and shellfish that are not what we think.
Samples are often mislabeled at the market, which means that we buy fish and shellfish that are not what we think
The worst, and most serious, is that the substitute can be toxic. Researchers found that 30-58% of fish products that were sold fraudulently in the United States were from animal species that could be harmful to health.
In Europe they also found fraud: in Italy, 82% of the 200 samples of grouper, perch and swordfish analyzed were mislabeled, and about half were replaced by species that could be toxic for human consumption.
The European Union is aware of this problem. In fact, in 2017 Spain demanded urgent measures against a food fraud involving adulterated tuna that could have poisoned hundreds of people in several countries. However, despite your best efforts, perhaps you should do more to end this large-scale deception that can endanger public health.
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BioFit Supplement

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