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Food fraud common in Canada: study

A study conducted by Oceana Canada has found more than 60 per cent of seafood products tested at Montreal grocery stores and restaurants were mislabelled. In July 2019, the organization tested 90 samples from 50 locations in Montreal and found that 61 per cent of seafood wasn't as advertised. A commercial lab in Guelph, Ont., found 31 products were a different species than was claimed. The lab also found 21 products were mislabelled and three contained species not authorized for sale in the country. The results, when combined with previous investigations since 2017, found 47 per cent of the 472 fish samples to date were mislabelled. And the products that were mislabelled were found in Montreal, Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. Victoria clocked in the highest rate of mislabelling at 67 per cent, while Vancouver's was the lowest at 26 per cent. Seafood fraud includes swapping cheaper fish and passing them off as more expensive fillets, or putting false, incomplete or misleading information on a label. This type of fraud also presents a potential health risk for consumers. Oceana Canada is continuing its call for the federal government to strengthen labelling requirements and boost traceability based on these results. Three of Canada's national political parties have included enhanced labelling of seafood products into their federal election platforms.
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