That's fishy: Feds fight fraud in seafood sizes

JAY LINDSAY Associated Press Published:


Federal seafood quality officials say they've started tackling the most common kinds of seafood fraud.

They say prime examples are charging customers for the ice used to keep fish fresh, or bloating seafood, such as scallops, with compounds that make them appear bigger.

Steve Wilson of the National Marine Fisheries Service says these deceptions are far more prevalent than the well-publicized fraud of species substitution -- sellers secretly replacing a prized fish with a similar, but cheaper species.

It's difficult to detect when customers are being charged for ice or buying puffed-up seafood. The federal agency charged with regulating seafood fraud -- the FDA -- is often consumed with higher priorities, such as bioterrorism.

Officials think public awareness and industry concerns about quality can lead to major reductions in fraud.

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