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A recent investigation by Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection found that half of the frozen fish packages it tested contained less product than the labels purported, prompting the removal by inspectors of more than 800 packages from the state’s stores — and the Better Seafood Board (BSB) couldn’t be happier about it.
“We are encouraged by efforts like these,” said BSB Secretary Lisa Weddig. “Back in May, we brought together a number of state and federal agencies to educate their regulators about this issue, and now we’re seeing action.” The Washington-based board backs efforts to use National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) methodologies to discover and prevent short-weighting.
“Customers should get the weight they pay for, and targeted testing of products already on the shelves is one way to help make sure that happens,” added Weddig. “But shining a bright light on producers who handle seafood before the consumer sees it will go a long way to addressing this issue at the source. Connecticut apparently found weights that were 3 percent, 4 percent and 5 percent ice, but the BSB routinely sees wholesale offers made up of 10 percent, 20 percent and 30 percent ice — whether they realize it or not, that type of systemic fish fraud is costing consumers big.”
Established by the National Fisheries Institute, the BSB provides a mechanism for the industry’s partners in the supply chain — restaurants, retail operations, producers and processors — to report suppliers suspected of committing economic fraud.