Seafood Solutions Ordered to Pay $1 Million for False Labeling of Fish

Seafood Solutions, a California corporation, was sentenced in federal court to pay $700,000 in community service fines and make a  donation of $300,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for its role in the false labeling of frozen fish fillets, the U.S. Department of Justice reported.

They were also ordered to forfeit all remaining inventory of falsely labeled fish, among other stipulations of the ruling.

An investigative Consumer Reports report about mislabeled seafood discovered that more than one-fifth of 190 pieces of seafood bought at retail stores and restaurants in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were mislabeled, incompletely labeled, or misidentified by employees.

The mislabeled fish at issue in the Seafood Solutions case was Pangasius hypophthalmus, a species in the catfish family that was misleadingly labeled as “Paradise Grouper” and “Falcon Baie Grouper.”

In 2004, Seafood Solutions began selling a fish it declared to customs as “ponga.” The fish being imported was actually Pangasius hypophthalmus and was sold under the brand names “Paradise Grouper” and “Falcon Baie Grouper.”

The case was investigated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Law Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Below is a CBS News report on “fish fraud” that finds that 1 in 3 fish sold to consumers is mislabeled and an overwhelming majority of fish is imported and not inspected.

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