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DNA Analysis Detects Species Substitution in Fish

by Arlene Mathes-Scharf - Editor Kashrut.com

Copyright © Scharf Associates, 2007

Notes from the International Boston Seafood Show on March 12, 2007

I attended a seminar presented by William Gergits of Therion International at the International Boston Seafood Show on March 12, 2007. Therion International does DNA based testing for fish species substitution. They found a considerable amount of species substitution in fish served at the restaurants that they tested. "In 39 restaurants across six cities in the Southeastern US, it was determined that 19 out of the 39 samples tested were indeed not red snapper, but a cheaper species substitution. The substituted species included lane snapper, scarlet snapper and even tilapia and horse mackerel!" 1. They also reported that the substituted fish can also be non-kosher ones such as Asian Catfish. Over a nine-year period, fiscal years 1988-97, the National Seafood Inspection Laboratory (NSIL) found 34 percent of the seafood products that they tested during this time were mislabeled. 2

This is another example of why fish purchased from non-kosher sources cannot be assumed to be kosher.


1www.theriondna.com

2www.sst.ifas.ufl.edu/22ndAnn/file08.pdf

Copyright 2007 Scharf Associates


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Arlene J. Mathes-Scharf  
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