International criminal police organisation Interpol has announced a massive inquiry into fishery fraud. The main focus of the investigation will be the deliberately wrong labelling of fish.
Pangasius sold as sole
Insiders of the fishing industry state that within the industry the usage of wrong labels is as widely spread as in the meat industry. Cheap pangasius often gets switched with the more expensive sole, while the weight of salmon gets increased by adding ten to fifteen percent of salt and water, making it more expensive.
Ocean conservation organisation Oceana announced last week that research unveiled a research in 1200 samples of fish, where one third was sold under the wrong name. This makes David Higgins of Interpol ask the question if supermarkets can still vouch for the origin of their fish: “My question to them is: what is in your fish sticks?”
Horse meat scandal reaches Ikea sausage
Almost every day there are new reports concerning fraud with horse meat: now also sausages sold by Ikea have been pulled from the shelves, because they contained horse meat. The sausages are no longer sold in France, Great Britain, Spain, Ireland and Portugal.
The sausages are still being sold in other countries, because they use other suppliers. Earlier Ikea stopped selling their famous köttbullar after horse meat was discovered in a package of frozen meatballs.
High fines only solution
Controls don’t seem to have any effect, so cheating suppliers have to be dealt with in a strong way, states economics professor Gerrit Antonides. “Only in this way can consumer trust be repaired.” Bart van Opzeeland, director of Dutch consumer organisation Foodwatch, says the only way to stop fraud is to enforce high fines.
Antonides also believes that the current scandal will have detrimental effects on A-brands: consumers gladly pay a bit more for these brands if they believe they are safer and of a higher quality, but if that advantage is no longer in effect, they will start looking for cheaper home brands.