Industry Group on Frontline of Fighting Fish Fraud
The Boston Globe’s recent investigation into the mislabeling of fish, and a flurry of later reports designed to replicate the Globe’s investigation, are highlighting issues of economic integrity and seafood.
“There have been a number of media reports about DNA testing in the last five days that alleged fish fraud. For the past five years, rooting out fraud has been the focus of the Better Seafood Board,” said the group’s secretary Lisa Weddig.
The BSB, which was established by the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) to provide a mechanism for industry’s partners in the supply chain – restaurants, retail operations, producers and processors - to report suppliers suspected of committing economic fraud, regularly reports suspected cases of fish fraud to the FDA and has worked with federal and state weights and measures officials to crack down on illegal practices.
“We stand ready to work with restaurants and retailers who are interested in making sure the supply chain is free of fraud,” said Weddig. “If businesses want to ensure that they’re working with a reputable supplier they can simply ask if the provider is a BSB member, and if they aren’t they should ask, why not?”
All members of NFI are committed to the BSB and have pledged to label species correctly and report weights accurately,” explained NFI president John Connelly, who notes that “Committing to putting the right fish, at the right weight, in the right box is one thing. But,” he added, “understanding how we can contribute to fixing this fraud long term by supporting efforts to make sure the Food and Drug Administration is fully funded is another. NFI members, through the BSB, do both.”