EU cafeteria fake fish labelling reported

2015-11-03 20:09
Picture: Getty Images

Picture: Getty Images

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - The European Union is looking into reports that cheap seafood is often mislabelled as choice fish in some of the Belgian capital's fine restaurants and even in EU cafeterias.

The Oceana environmental group said on Tuesday it found that 31.8% of seafood it tested in and around EU institutions in Brussels was a different fish than what was labelled on the menu. In the cafeterias of the EU, which sets fishery policies for the 28-nation bloc, the total amount of falsely labelled fish stood at 38 percent.

"We take this very seriously," EU spokesperson Alexander Winterstein said of the report.

Oceana said 95 percent of what was labelled Bluefin tuna - a fatty, sublime sushi favourite - was actually a less expensive species, served to make a hefty profit. In 13% of the cases, cod was also mislabelled and people sometimes were fed pangasius instead, a freshwater fish farmed in southeast Asia.

"Some restaurants with a good reputation are not better than others," said Oceana executive director Europe Lasse Gustavsson. "Obviously, it is a way to make more money."

The study did not assign blame or say whether the restaurants themselves were being unscrupulous or if they were being duped by some fish wholesalers.

A 2014 Oceana study of Danish fishmongers found that 18% of the cod sold there was not cod, but haddock or saithe. France stood out, however. When Oceana had a study there, only four percent of targeted species were mislabelled.

At EU headquarters, Gustavsson found some of the strangest mislabelling cases.

"This is almost hilarious," he said, "because this is not even for profit ... you are replacing cheap fish with an expensive one."

Winterstein said EU institutions are dependent on the labelling controls of Belgium, where EU headquarters is based.

Read more on:    eu  |  belgium  |  marine life

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.