Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cod mislabelling four times more prevalent in Ireland than UK, study shows

Date:
July 14, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
According to a new study, 28 percent of cod products in Ireland are mislabeled, as compared to 7 percent in the UK. Using a DNA barcoding technique (COI barcoding gene), scientists from Ireland genetically identified 226 cod products purchased from supermarkets, fishmongers and take-away outlets across Ireland (131) and the UK (95), and compared the results against the product labels.

According to a new study, 28% of cod products in Ireland are mislabelled, as compared to 7% in the UK.

This is the first time that researchers have compared the labelling of cod products sold in Ireland and the UK. Both countries operate under the same EU policies for seafood traceability and labelling. The research appears in the journal Fish and Fisheries.

Using a DNA barcoding technique (COI barcoding gene), scientists from University College Dublin, Ireland, genetically identified 226 cod products purchased from supermarkets, fishmongers and take-away outlets across Ireland (131) and the UK (95), and compared the results against the product labels.

"37 of the 131 cod products purchased in Ireland, and seven of the 95 purchased in the UK were shown to be mislabelled," says Dr Stefano Mariani from the School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin, leader of the research team.

"We found mislabelled cod products in each type of outlet, and identified that most of the mislabelled cod products were actually less expensive fish species substituted for cod and sold to consumers at a price premium," he says.

Cod is the most popular whitefish consumed in Ireland and the UK, and the demand remains high despite the fact that local Atlantic cod stocks have largely been depleted and much of the cod is now imported.

88.6% of all mislabelled cod products identified from both Ireland and the UK were smoked, breaded or battered. Not surprising, the scientists say, because "smoking, breading and battering can conceal the appearance, the smell and the taste of a fish fillet."

"But we also uncovered a more subtle form of mislabelling where cod products were mislabelled to specifically match a demand for more sustainable seafood choices," explains Dr Mariani.

According to the scientists, the demand for more sustainable seafood choices is likely a result of public awareness campaigns including those run by environmental non-governmental organisations like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace.

"By genetically testing cod products samples purchased from supermarkets we found threatened Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) mislabelled and sold as 'sustainably sourced' Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus)," says Dana Miller, the lead author who completed the study as part of her PhD at University College Dublin.

"All of the cod products mislabelled as 'sustainably sourced' Pacific cod were purchased from a single supermarket chain that operates in both Ireland and the UK."

Under EU policy guidelines labels on packaged products sold in supermarkets should allow a single item to be traced back to the processing plant that originally supplied it. However, the scientific team were unable to unambiguously identify the source of the mislabelling.

But, says Dr Mariani, 'there are strong indications that the mislabelling is taking place at supplier and retailer level'.

The less expensive fish species substituted, mislabelled and sold as cod to consumers included: pollack (Pollachius pollachius), saithe (Pollachius virens), greater argentine (Argentina silus), and whiting (Merlangius merlangus).

The research was funded by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Miller, A. Jessel, S. Mariani. Seafood mislabelling: comparisons of two western European case studies assist in defining influencing factors, mechanisms and motives. Fish and Fisheries, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2011.00426.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Cod mislabelling four times more prevalent in Ireland than UK, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714190900.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, July 14). Cod mislabelling four times more prevalent in Ireland than UK, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714190900.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Cod mislabelling four times more prevalent in Ireland than UK, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714190900.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins