Fishy species? DNA can tell
I never thought we could be eating fresh water tilapia instead of raw tuna as advertised in a sushi bar. But, according to this study conducted by two New York school girls, half of the time, we are eating substituted fish. Another study published in the science journal Nature also found that 77% of fish sold as red snapper were actually another species.
Apparently, substituted fish not only reveals unethical business conducts, but also presents some health issues. To help address this problem, FDA is teaming up with fishermen in the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo to barcode fish species using DNA technology.
FDA scientists will be at the rodeo collecting samples of different species caught, and DNA from those samples will be used to create a genetic profile, or literally a DNA bar code, for each species. The DNA barcodes of the species in the FDA fish DNA database can then be compared against DNA found in any suspect fish served or sold anywhere in the U. S.
FDA is also collecting fish samples at other locations and from seafood shops across the nation.
So, next time, you shell out $9.95 for a grouper sandwich and wonder why it tastes like catfish; you have a way to find out. Simply send the sample to FDA, and let DNA tell the truth!