Dr Oz, Fish Fraud, Sushi Scam, Fish To Avoid, Escolar Ex Lax, Tilefish

Dr Oz On How To Avoid Fish Fraud In Grocery Stores

tuna, sushi, red snapper, grouper, fish fraud, fish scams

Tuna, Sushi, Snapper, Grouper Have High Incidence of Fish Fraud on Dr. Oz

When you are shopping in a grocery store, being scammed is probably the last thing that is on your mind.  What you see is what you get right?  Well, not exactly.  Today Dr. Oz did a ‘Buyer Beware’ segment on counterfeit foods and what you should be aware of when you are out shopping for your family.  One of the biggest grocery store food scams can be found in the seafood section.  Fish fraud occurs at an alarmingly high rate and Dr. Oz was shocked at how prevalent that this problem is!  During this segment of the show Dr. Oz exposes fish fraud and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.  Also be sure to check out the followup segment and how you can avoid Olive Oil Fraud which affects 65% of olive oil bottles found in supermarkets!

So, you may be asking “what exactly is fish fraud?”  Dr. Oz invited Shaun Kennedy on  to the show to help him with this portion of the show.  Shaun is the Director of the National Center For Food Protection and Defense.  He said that food fraud is when you purchase fish by what you read on the label, but in reality you are not receiving the type of fish that you thought.  You are actually receiving a different (and cheaper) kind of fish instead.  For some people this can cause serious health risks.  So, what kind of fish scams are out there that we should be aware about?

Sushi Scams

One of the highest occurrence of fish fraud found in grocery stores is with sushi. More expensive fish (what you think you are getting) is replaced with cheaper imitations.  The Campaign Directer of Oceana (Beth Lowell) did an investigative study all across the United States and they discovered that 38 percent of what they tried to purchase wasn’t the type of fish that they thought they were getting!  The costlier fish was routinely swapped out for cheaper fish alternatives.   Dr. Oz was shocked at how rampant this problem really is.  Some of the most common fish that are being mislabeled are Wild Salmon, cod, red snapper, and grouper.  Shaun Kennedy said that fish fraud is the reason why many cultures around the world offer the fish whole rather than in fillets.  When you just buy the fillet it is very hard to know what kind of fish that you are actually getting.

The Ex-Lax of Fish, Escolar Causes Diarrhea

Escolar is often swapped with tuna.  Escolar can cause moderate to severe diarrhea and cramping.  The risk for getting diarrhea for consuming is quite high and the fish is even referred to as the “Ex-Lax of Fish”.   Some countries have even banned Escolar! (Japan and Italy for instance).  For this reason Beth Lowell recommends that you should not order tuna from a menu.

Tilefish Contains High Levels Of Mercury

Red Snapper is another type of fish that is often being mislabeled.  It is frequently replaced with tilefish.  The danger with Tilefish is that they contain high levels of mercury.  The FDA has Tile Fish on the “Do Not Eat” list for pregnant women and children.

Catfish Is Often Used Instead of Grouper

The next fish swap that Beth Lowell found in her investigation was grouper.  Catfish is a cheaper alternative so many stores and restaurants will swap this fish in place of grouper.Ways To Avoid Fish FraudDr. Oz displayed some ways in which you can avoid fish fraud in grocery stores.  They are :

  • Buy fish whole instead of fillets
  • Watch your fillets be cut
  • Talk with your vender
  • Beware of the commonly mislabeled fish such as Red Snapper, salmon, grouper, and tuna.