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Resource ID: #25754
Subject: Food
Source: Boston Globe
Date: 2012-12-02



Boston Globe reporters Jenn Abelson and Beth Daley captured the attention of consumers across the nation with their 2011 “Fishy Business” series, which revealed widespread mislabeling of seafood at restaurants. DNA testing commissioned by the Globe showed diners frequently - and unwittingly -- overpaid for less desirable species. In 2012, the Globe produced two more “Fishy Business” installments to expand and follow up on the initial investigation. First, Abelson spent several months examining how fish processors add water to seafood to increase profits. The Globe hired an independent lab to conduct an analysis of 43 fish samples collected from supermarkets across Massachusetts. The results, presented in a multimedia package in September 2012, showed consumers often pay for excess water when they buy scallops and frozen fish. About 1 in 5 of the samples weighed less than what was stated on packages. The testing also showed 66 percent of the fish from one supplier had too much ice. The Globe also wanted to verify restaurants and wholesalers had changed their ways following the newspaper's 2011 investigation and resulting calls for reform. Daley and Abelson returned to 58 restaurants that served the wrong fish in 2011 to collect new samples. DNA tests showed 76 percent did not match what restaurants advertised on their menus. The resulting third installment of “Fishy Business,” published in December 2012, detailed these findings. In addition, Abelson and Daley explained how accountability is lost in the fish supply chain by investigating a major wholesaler that provided mislabeled fish to some of the region's best-known restaurants.

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