Fish Fraud

Oh, Hey, Now We Have to Worry About Salmon Fraud, Too

At least the asparagus looks nice.
At least the asparagus looks nice. Photo: Lisovskaya Natalia/The Picture Pantry/Corbis

Here comes a new report from nonprofit ocean conservation group Oceana, which was most recently seen exposing Maryland’s crab-cake fraud: Restaurant diners encounter mislabeled “wild” salmon roughly 67 percent of the time. It’s not really surprising that farmed salmon would be called the pricier, and more desirable, wild variety on menus. Oceana also found that the mislabeling is less common in grocery stores, where they say 20 percent of salmon is likely to be mislabeled.

If there’s one good takeaway for you salmon-fiends — whoever you are — it’s that rampant mislabeling only seems to be a real issue when salmon is out of season, such as right now. Tests performed in 2013, while the fish was still in season, revealed that only 7 percent of samples were found to be incorrectly labeled. Even still, what’s the root of the problem: An inability to trace the origins of the product — attributed to overseas processing, even for American salmon — seems to be to blame for the ease with which people can call their salmon whatever they want.

So, to recap: Lots of “wild” salmon really isn’t, eating bacon will almost certainly lead to cancer, and everyone’s actually excited because Taco Bell is giving away free breakfast. This isn’t the most uplifting week for food news, and it’s only Wednesday.


New Study Reveals Rampant Salmon Fraud