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Report: Fish often mislabeled at Mass. restaurants

October 23, 2011

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BOSTON—A published report says DNA analysis of fish sold at more than 130 restaurants, stores and seafood markets in eastern Massachusetts found it was mislabeled almost half of the time.

The Boston Globe reports ( http://bo.st/nn3UqH) that DNA tests it commissioned found many fish were labeled as more expensive and nutritious varieties, but actually were cheaper and less desirable species.

The fish often also was caught thousands of miles away and frozen, not hauled in by local fishermen as the menus claimed.

Some restaurant owners whose fish was mislabeled told the newspaper that they were misled by distributors. Others acknowledged they swap species when supplies are low or fresh fish isn't available, or to trim costs.

Federal officials say they are working to develop a better program to identify mislabeled fish using DNA analysis.