The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down on the mislabeling that occurs with fish species. In an effort to ramp up its new DNA fish-testing program, regulators will be pulling 100 samples from imports, warehouses and distribution centers. This will enable the FDA to tailor its future efforts, which could include pulling close to 1,000 samples, and a collaboration with state regulatory agencies as it believes most of the mislabeling occurs at retail level.
“This is the type of effort we’ve wanted to see for a long time,” says Lisa Weddig, secretary of the Better Seafood Board (BSB). “When the FDA is out there testing and enforcing the law it makes fraud a lot harder to perpetrate. Whether its on a menu or bill of sale, seafood needs to be labeled properly and operations that don’t take that seriously should be on notice; a new commitment and a new database are in the market now.”
According to the FDA Office of Regulatory Science, nine labs now have the ability to sequence seafood samples and determine if they are labeled incorrectly.
“Recommitted regulators armed with DNA testing will be able to cut through the finger pointing and buck passing and hopefully have an impact on the type of fraud we’ve heard so much about in the past few weeks,” says Weddig.
For more information, visit www.aboutseafood.com.