Mass. bill carries fines for mislabeled seafood
Massachusetts would levy fines on supermarkets and restaurants that mislabel seafood and become the first state in the nation to ban the sale of escolar, an oily species known as the “ex-lax” fish that is often served as sushi, under legislation expected to be filed Friday.
The bill, proposed by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, comes more than a year after a Boston Globe report revealed widespread seafood substitution in restaurants across Massachusetts. In many instances, less desirable and cheaper species took the place of fresh local fish. A follow-up investigation published last fall found most of those restaurants were still mislabeling seafood.
Businesses caught misrepresenting fish such as Atlantic cod, Atlantic halibut, red snapper, or grey sole could face fines of up to USD 800 and have their license to operate suspended or revoked after repeat offenses, according to the legislation.