By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 18 March, 2013
A new DNA testing program has confirmed with near-perfect results that seafood products bearing the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) symbol are accurately labeled.
The MSC commissioned the test in the wake of media reports of widespread mislabeling practices throughout the industry. The MSC took 381 samples from retail packaged products, fish counters and catering restaurants in 14 different markets.
According to the MSC, only three of the samples were mislabeled. Of those, two were Atlantic cod labeled as Pacific cod, but the MSC said the fish did in fact come from a MSC-certified fishery. The third sample, also confirmed to be Atlantic cod, is still being investigated, and the MSC said it “potentially” may have come from an uncertified fishery.
“The MSC has used DNA testing since 2009 as one part of its strategy to monitor the effectiveness of its Chain of Custody standard for seafood traceability in controlling the processing, packing, labeling and movement of MSC certified seafood around the world,” said David Agnew, MSC’s director of standards. “Today’s results show that our program provides a high level of integrity and assurance that MSC labeled products are traceable to certified fisheries, and that customers are not being misled.”
The MSC has promised to continue with annual DNA testing to monitor products bearing its label.