DNA results confirm MSC supply chain integrity 


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
December 11, 2013

According to the a recent report of DNA testing, less than 1 percent of products bearing the Marine Stewardship Council ecolabel are mislabeled.

Independent DNA testing on randomly selected MSC-labeled products show that out of the 320 products tested, only 3 were mislabeled.

The three particular results are now being investigated by tracing back the documentation through the supply chain. In each instance, the certifier and the brand owner will be informed and, if evidence is found of a substitution with non-MSC certified seafood, the result will be a suspension of certification.

Independent DNA testing on randomly selected MSC-labeled products is an integral part of the MSC’s strategy for monitoring the effectiveness of its chain of custody program. And so the DNA result represents a crucial indicator of the MSC’s credibility and plays an important role in its overall mission to contribute to the health of the world’s oceans.

In order to extend the reach and value of the MSC DNA testing, this round has added additional species, included haddock, tuna and halibut. In addition, a smaller control group of non-MSC certified seafood products were also tested, which revealed five per cent were mislabelled.

“This is an important test for the MSC,” said Alison Roel, MSC product integrity manager. “Because it provides consumers and MSC stakeholders with added assurance that MSC-labeled seafood has been correctly labeled.

“Our DNA analysis provides an additional means of helping our partners protect their investment in the MSC program, and we’re going to continue to expand the test to increase our overview of the chain of custody program. Any cases where mislabeling is identified will be referred to the certifiers of the supply chain so they can be further investigated,” she said. 

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