Study reveals that up to 30 percent of shrimp sold in the U.S. is mislabeled
Friday, October 31, 2014, 5:13 PM - A recent survey by the group Oceana suggests that up to 30 percent of the shrimp sold in U.S. grocery stores and restaurants may not be what you think it is.
The group analyzed 143 shrimp products from 111 grocery stores to draw their conclusion.
The survey also found that customers are provided with "little" information about the shrimp they're consuming -- including details about where the crustaceans were caught and farmed.
Oceana documented misrepresented shrimp in every region it tested, but New York had the highest rate at 43 percent.
For the purposes of the survey, Oceana defined "misrepresentation" as "products that were mislabeled (one species swapped out for another), misleading (e.g. farmed species labeled as “Gulf”), or mixed/mystery (e.g. co-mingling species among bagged shrimp)".
In some instances, shrimp may be misidentified (and therefore mislabeled) because some crustacean species are difficult to tell apart just by looking at them, according to the Huffington Post.
In other cases, sellers may be charging a premium for food that's labeled as "wild" when it's actually cheaper, farmed food.
Oceana says that 35% of the 11 nationwide vendors sold misrepresented shrimp.
"This is a big issue, which has economic, sanitary and environmental consequences," Jorge Barros Velazquez, a food science professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain told the Huffington Post.
According to the Post, Velazquez conducted a similar study in Spain 2007 and discovered that as much as a quarter of the shrimp tested in the country was mislabeled.