Articles by natural health author Tony Isaacs
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Massive Widespread Consumer Fraud Found in Mislabeled Fish
author of Cancer's Natural Enemy
(The Best Years in Life) As if eating seafood was not iffy enough due to Fukushima radiation, the gulf oil spill, and mercury and other toxins found in fish, one of the largest seafood fraud investigations in the world to date has found widespread consumer fraud imislabled fish across the United States. For example, 59 percent of the tuna Americans consume is not really tuna. Worse still, most of the fake tuna is actually a fish known for causing gastrointestinal problems.
The non-profit ocean protection group Oceana collected more than 1,200 samples from 674 retail outlets in 21 states from 2010 to 2012 to determine if they were honestly labeled. DNA testing found that one-third of the 1,215 seafood samples were mislabeled, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines.
The fish Oceana found to be most often mislabeled was red snapper, where 87 percent of the samples collected were actually one of several other varieties of fish - such as perch and tilapia. Perhaps the most disturbing finding was that 84 percent of the fake fish substituted for second place tuna was escolar - a fish which can cause explosive, oily, and orange diarrhea.
Escolar, often mistakenly labeled in raw form as a variety of tuna called "butterfish," is a type of snake mackerel that is unable to metabolize the wax esters called gemplyotoxin which are naturally found in its diet. The esters are called gempylotoxin, and are very similar to castor oil or mineral oil and the esters are what gives escolar an oily texture similar to tuna. As a result of the esters, eating full portions of escolar can cause severe gastrointestinal problems.
The fraudulently labeled seafood was found at sushi bars, restaurants and grocery stores with sushi bars being found to be far more likely to have the mislabeled fish. Oceana did not find a single sushi bar which had no dishonestly labeled fish.
Though the Oceana investigation did not determine where the fraud occurred in the chain from ocean to consumer, the reasons for the labeling fraud are obvious: greed and availability.
In practically every instance of mislabeling, a cheaper variety of fish was substituted for a more expensive one. Often, price differences are due to availability. Red snapper supplies, for example, are very limited as the levels of the popular fish have been severely depleted far beyond demand. Likewise, popular varieties of tuna, including albacore, yellowfin and bigeye, have been significantly depleted from over-fishing. Even the most common type of tuna, skipjack, may soon be in danger due to increased fishing pressure.
Other highlights of the Oceana
About the author
Tony Isaacs is a member of the National Health Federation and the American Botanical Council. He is a natural health advocate and researcher and the author of books and articles about natural health including "Cancer's Natural Enemy." Mr. Isaacs articles are featured at The Truth About Cancer, the Health Science Institute's Healthiertalk website, CureZone, the Crusador, Health Secrets, the Cancer Tutor, the Silver Bulletin, the New Zealand Journal of Natural Health, and several other venues. In addition, he hosts the Yahoo Oleandersoup Health group of over 3500 members and the CureZone Ask Tony Isaacs - Featuring Luella May forum. He is also the local moderator of the CureZone Cancer Alternatives forum. Tony and his partner Luella May host The Best Years in Life natural health website where their motto is "It's never too late or too early to begin living longer, healthier and happier lives."
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