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Seafood fraud common in Canada's cities, Oceana Canada study finds

Last Updated Oct 16, 2019 at 12:37 pm EST

A seafood counter is shown at a store in Toronto on Thursday, May 3, 2018. A new study found 61 per cent of seafood products tested at Montreal grocery stores and restaurants were mislabelled. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

MONTREAL — A new study found 61 per cent of seafood products tested at Montreal grocery stores and restaurants were mislabelled.

Oceana Canada tested 90 samples from 50 locations in July 2019 and found 31 were a different species than was claimed, 21 were mislabelled and three contained species not authorized for sale in the country.

The results combined with previous investigations since 2017 have concluded that 47 per cent of the 472 samples collected in Montreal, Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax in that time were mislabelled.

A commercial lab in Guelph, Ont., used DNA barcoding to analyze the samples and determine the identity of each species.

Oceana Canada wants the federal government to strengthen labelling requirements and boost traceability.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2019.

The Canadian Press