Skullduggery in Mislabelling


Cod liver oil is back in fashion as a health supplement and rightly so.

It’s bursting with Omega, fatty Acid as well as Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6.

The health experts confirm these essential nutrients are critical to good health and more importantly the natural form comes from the fish itself


During the 1990s cod stocks collapsed dramatically as a result of excessive industrial fishing bringing the species to near extinction

The law of supply and demand kicked in. Demand for cod exceeded the trickle of supply to the market due to dwindling stocks forcing the price of fish and chips to the consumer on an upward trajectory over the coming years.


Experts in the field point to recent studies revealing cod being mislabelled in a big way. In Ireland cheaper catches like haddock, Pollock and whiting are mixed in with the more expensive cod and mislabelled. In the UK the endangered Atlantic cod is being sold as sustainable sourced Pacific cod to further deceive consumers.

Figures supplied by councils to the Food Standards Agency indicate that checks on packaged frozen or chilled fish found in catering businesses did not meet labelling requirements.

In 27 cases the fish describe as cod was in fact other species such as haddock Pollock and whiting. Other types of fish where also incorrectly described among other breeches of labelling rules

A recent article in a quality British news paper points to study by Salford University biologist Dr Stefano Manioni in which he found 7% of products labelled cod in the UK and 28% in Ireland contained substitute of a lesser quality.

He is now leading a European wide study involving DNA testing of fish products in supermarkets fishmongers and takeaways.

“Species surreptitiously substituted for cod normally used in muched loved and iconic British Fish and Chips do not pose a health risk.”

However they are a cheaper variety of fish, some farmed in South East Asia and have never before been part of the commercial food chain in the UK.

HESA believe people have the right to know at the point of sale what fish is being served and if it is the lesser variety expect to pay a different price if not the mislabelling is resulting in deliberate fraud.

Mislabelling is a growing menace with the paying public falling prey to this unsavoury trend with profound and worrying consequences.


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