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DNA Bar Coding Finds Mislabeled Sushi

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the travesty-of-the-seas dept.

Biotech 285

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that Kate Stoeckle and Louisa Strauss, who graduated this year from the Trinity School in Manhattan, took on a freelance science project to check 60 samples of seafood using a simplified genetic fingerprinting technique called DNA Bar Coding to see whether the fish New Yorkers buy is what they think they are getting, and found that one-fourth of the fish samples with identifiable DNA were mislabeled: A piece of sushi sold as the luxury treat white tuna turned out to be Mozambique tilapia, a much cheaper fish that is often raised by farming. Roe supposedly from flying fish was actually from smelt." (More below.)"Seven of nine samples that were called red snapper were mislabeled, and they turned out to be anything from Atlantic cod to Acadian redfish, an endangered species. The project began over dinner with Stoeckle's father, a scientist and early proponent of the use of DNA bar codings. Instead of sequencing the entire genome, bar coders examine a single gene. Dr. Stoeckle said he was excited to see the technology used in a new way and compared the technique to GPS. 'The smaller and cheaper you make something,' he said, 'the more uses it has.'"

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285 comments

So..?? (5, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#24709791)

What are you going to do? Please, don't waste your research and not.. report these! I want a certified sushi organization. There's money to be made!

Re:So..?? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710033)

I want a certified sushi organization. There's money to be made!

I actually think that's a good idea... and good for the consumer.

Re:So..?? (2, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710783)

I saw this on Yahoo News this morning, I think it was an AP or UPI story so it could have been the same one, but the article I saw didn't even mention sushi, but different species of fish, and named the species that were misrepresented.

One sample was from an endangered species.

Seems that it should be a government function, say the FOOD and drug administration, to not only make sure that your food won't kill you but that what you pay for is what you get.

Restaraunts here sell walleye [wikipedia.org] , but walleye is in dangered and illegal (at least accorsing to a restaurant owner I talked to) so they sell pollack [wikipedia.org] and call it walleye. IMO it should be illegal to put "ribeye steak" on the menu and serve you dog.

Re:So..?? (0, Offtopic)

Myopic (18616) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711069)

Did you say "in dangered"?

That's hilarious. I've never seen that mistake before.

Re:So..?? (1)

The Insane One (25793) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711381)

Come on. Cut McGrew a little slack. He probably just got back from Felber's or any of the other dozen bars he frequents.

Re:So..?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24711693)

Who's McGrew and what's Felber's? Is there a backstory to sm62704's always oddball posts?

Re:So..?? (3, Informative)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711535)

Seems that it should be a government function, say the FOOD and drug administration, to not only make sure that your food won't kill you but that what you pay for is what you get.

I wonder if it's the restaurants pulling one, or their suppliers (or both)

Restaraunts here sell walleye [wikipedia.org], but walleye is in dangered and illegal (at least accorsing to a restaurant owner I talked to) so they sell pollack [wikipedia.org] and call it walleye. IMO it should be illegal to put "ribeye steak" on the menu and serve you dog.

Walleye endangered? I've never heard of that...sounds wacky to me, they're all over the great lakes, etc. (correction after looking it up -- the BLUE walleye has been extinct for about 30 years, but there are still lots of regular walleye).

I had walleye on a stick at the Minnesota state fair--it was great! My dad used to catch them when he was a kid too.

Re:So..?? (0, Troll)

dosius (230542) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711555)

Ain't there truth in advertising laws? Pretty sure there was and that was the name.

Oh, that's right, Big Business owns the USA and gets to do whatever it pleases, the customers be damned.

-uso.

Re:So..?? (0)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711631)

No, the food and drug administration should do the least possible to insure that food and drugs wont kill you. Everything else is advertisement and buyer beware. If you order to both maintain a free market and keep from being crushed under even more government control.

Re:So..?? (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710839)

Well, perhaps a certification kit could be made that consumers could use every so often to check on their fishmongers and Sushi bars. Hopefully it wouldn't cost that much but costs would be proportional to the type of food tested. I know some rare sushi can get expensive. I would like to know I'm getting my money's worth. You could then pool the resources and rate different establishments on honesty. Obviously there might be a potential for abuse. So even if i just randomly check and can take the box to the kit comes in with me so they know I'll be looking and give me the right stuff, I would know I got my money's worth and probably find a trusted supplier that I would frequent.

I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito... (5, Funny)

Eg0Death (1282452) | more than 5 years ago | (#24709807)

...can you check the DNA in that? I hope it's not anyone I know.

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (1)

samcan (1349105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24709907)

I hope it's not anyone I know.

Reminds me of the Pearls Before Swine comic strip where Pig says that "BLTs taste so ... good."

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (1)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#24709969)

Ever see the early South Park DVDs with the special features called "Makin' Bacon with Macon?" Matt and Trey put on a cooking show with their mascot, Macon the pig. They make all kinds of bacony treats, and feed the leftover bacon to the pig.

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711601)

Mad pig disease HERE WE COME! xD;

*runs like hell*

-uso.

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (3, Funny)

Freeside1 (1140901) | more than 5 years ago | (#24709919)

come to think of it, I haven't seen the taco bell chihuahua in a while...

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (2, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710981)

Oh don't worry: If it's from Taco Bell, it doesn't have any organic matter in there anyway.

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (2, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#24709995)

Doesn't cooking destroy DNA?

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (5, Funny)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710059)

Doesn't cooking destroy DNA?

This article is about sushi. He's eating his burrito raw.

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710297)

I thought sushi was rice, not fish?

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710465)

In Japanese cuisine, sushi is vinegared rice, usually topped with other ingredients, including fish, various meats, and vegetables. [wikipedia.org]

Outside of Japan, sushi is sometimes misunderstood to mean the raw fish itself, or even any fresh raw-seafood dishes.

In Japan, sliced raw fish alone is called sashimi and is distinct from sushi, as sashimi is the raw fish component, not the rice component.

The word sushi itself comes from an archaic grammatical form of a word that is no longer used in other contexts; literally, sushi means "it's sour".

sushi, sashimi (4, Informative)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710535)

Technically, raw fish is "sashimi", but is often combined with rice and seaweed and other ingredients to make sushi. Not all sushi contains sashimi, but most does. I don't think rice by itself counts as sushi.

Re:sushi, sashimi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24711609)

Yes, sushi is just vinegared rice. You can wrap it in seaweed if you want (makizushi) or you can make it into little mounds (nigirizushi). There are other forms too. You can add raw or cooked fish, or vegetables to it. But "sushi" is really just the rice.

Re:sushi, sashimi (3, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711639)

Not only that, but can't sushi also contain cooked fish? That said, when the article talks about one quarter of fish with identifiable DNA, it seems obvious that he's not taking DNA from cooked seafood or from rice.

Re:sushi, sashimi (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711893)

As I recall, it's actually the rice that makes it sushi, not the other ingredients.
(Picked up on Good Eats, confirmed via Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] )

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711107)

You thought correctly. Sushi can be served with fish, or with other things; and the fish or other things can be cooked or raw.

Raw fish is a popular form of sushi, so the mistake can be excused as synecdoche [google.com] .

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710521)

Don't worry, your beef burrito contains 0% mammal tissue.

Re:I'm wondering about the contents of my burrito. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710795)

Rats are mammals, right?

Someone is gonna be in trouble. (1)

Tenrosei (1305283) | more than 5 years ago | (#24709875)

"Acadian redfish, an endangered species." Right now Animal Activist Are break down the scientist's door asking them what restaurant the fish was found in.

Re:Someone is gonna be in trouble. (2, Funny)

kd5zex (1030436) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710375)

Judge to convicted sushi restaurant proprietor:"Out of curiosity, what does Acadian Redfish taste like anyway?"
Convicted sushi restaurant proprietor:"A lot like Atlantic Salmon."

Economic Incentive to Mislabel? (4, Interesting)

dakirw (831754) | more than 5 years ago | (#24709889)

It'll be interesting to see whether the sushi shops or fish vendors mislabel on purpose. There's powerful incentive to misidentify if you can get away with it - substitute some cheap fish for premium ones, like the premium tuna example in the article. Also interesting that the students found endangered fish samples as well...

Re:Economic Incentive to Mislabel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24709997)

To have that many mislabelings, most of them must not be mistakes. As the article points out, though, it's not certain whether the mislabeling happens at the store/restaurant itself or earlier in the supply chain--although one would imagine that at least the sushi restaurants themselves would be able to easily tell the difference between the real stuff and the knock-offs.

Re:Economic Incentive to Mislabel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710085)

"although one would imagine that at least the sushi restaurants themselves would be able to easily tell the difference between the real stuff and the knock-offs"

Why would you say that? Can you tell the difference between a slab of kobe beef and regular supermarket steak without either tasting it or looking at the packaging? Fish are fish, and I daresay there are many species that look more or less identical, pespecially once they've been butchered.

Re:Economic Incentive to Mislabel? (5, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710639)

you can tell the diffrence by looking at it and touching it. (you can tell through gloves or thin plastic)

if you work with fish enough - you should be able to tell what fish you are working with by just looking at it and maybe touching it.

while i wouldn't know some exotic south specific fish - any that are found off NC i could identify quite easily - then again i used to work at a fish mart. and fished alot growing up.. so i was exposed to it.

i would expect any sushi chef worth a damn to be able to do the same for what he is serving.

and as for the diffrense between kobe beef and normal stuff you get.. again you can tell the diffrence by just touching it - if you know what your are looking for

Re:Economic Incentive to Mislabel? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24711537)

I can attest to that, from the meat side. I used to work as a butcher's assistant - sure I didn't man the saw much, but I arranged the platters and handled it enough. You can tell quite readily between even normal meat and premium meat - to say nothing of organic gold like Kobe.

Re:Economic Incentive to Mislabel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24711093)

Why would you say that? Can you tell the difference between a slab of kobe beef and regular supermarket steak without either tasting it or looking at the packaging?

Any chefs worth their salt WILL be able to tell, that's their job - to examine and sample deliveries before accepting them. For these 'slips' to happen, either 1) the chef is incompetent/2nd rate, or 2) he's taking orders from the top to watch the budget and make the substitutions.

Re:Economic Incentive to Mislabel? (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710147)

So, what are the Japanese names of the fish in question?

After all, the North American "Trout" is really closer to a salmon than the European "Trout". A North American "Bass" is really just a big sunfish. People came over here and used the old fish names for critters of similar size and habits.

The "Chilean Sea Bass" was a deliberate renaming of the Patagonian Toothfish to have a more commercially desirable name.

So, all in all there are at least five different distinct families of fish that are called "bass".

Re:Economic Incentive to Mislabel? (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710029)

I imagine the technique could be spread to locate the upstream fish provider who illegally caught the endangered fish... Is there any movement in that direction?

Re:Economic Incentive to Mislabel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710235)

Of course there is, as the article (and even the summary) indicates. This problem has existed for some time. Various cooking shows (no doubt watched by these kids parents) have done "Fresh Fish Shopping" exposes, identical to these kids. Even the forensic analysis of fish DNA is standardized within the wildlife management sector. In other words, how is this news?

Re:Economic Incentive to Mislabel? (1)

clodney (778910) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710873)

Not quite a comparable case, but there was a mini scandal here in Minnesota recently when it turned out that in many cases what a restaurant sold as walleye (a local favorite) was actually zander.

If I recall correctly, most of the restaurants put the blame on their suppliers, who sold them filets as opposed to whole fish. Without buying whole fish, the claim that the restaurant was duped is quite easy to believe.

If the sushi shops are not buying whole fish, it would be easy to be deceived. But I have to believe that any quality sushi restaurant starts with a whole fish, and in that case the mislabeling would have to be blamed on the restaurant.

Re:Economic Incentive to Mislabel? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711253)

If I recall correctly, most of the restaurants put the blame on their suppliers, who sold them filets as opposed to whole fish. Without buying whole fish, the claim that the restaurant was duped is quite easy to believe.

And to safeguard their reputations, they probably need to start DNA-testing their purchases. A statistically-valid random sampling scheme wouldn't cost outrageously much, and being able to say that your tai is really red snapper ("Red snapper... very tasty!") would be (to coin a phrase) priceless.

If the sushi shops are not buying whole fish, it would be easy to be deceived. But I have to believe that any quality sushi restaurant starts with a whole fish, and in that case the mislabeling would have to be blamed on the restaurant.

Damn straight. Even in the arid midst of the Great American Desert [wikipedia.org] , you can get good sushi and bad sushi, and with the good sushi you can watch the chef slice the neta right off the fish. I wouldn't have it any other way, and no one should.

Big Surprise (4, Insightful)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 5 years ago | (#24709923)

Is anyone really surprised that a business is selling cheaper fish off as a more expensive one.

Re:Big Surprise (4, Informative)

zarkill (1100367) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710055)

Here in Tampa, Florida area, this was recently a very big deal. One of the things Tampa is famous for is Grouper, and several well-known restaurants were found to be serving cheaper fish instead of Grouper.

6 out of 11 restaurants served cheaper fish [sptimes.com] .

According to that article though it's hard to tell whether the deception was intentional, and even if so, who was deceptive: the restaurant, the wholesaler, etc.

Re:Big Surprise (4, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710477)

What's interesting is that it actually takes a DNA test to determine this. For the most part, people can't taste the difference between these fish. So, in these high-end restaurants, you're really just buying into an illusion. I wonder if foodies and other food connoisseurs would be able to tell the difference.

Re:Big Surprise (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711513)

What's interesting is that it actually takes a DNA test to determine this. For the most part, people can't taste the difference between these fish. So, in these high-end restaurants, you're really just buying into an illusion. I wonder if foodies and other food connoisseurs would be able to tell the difference.

Not really that interesting. Bait and switch (pun unintentional but welcome) is a pretty damning charge so you'd better make sure your evidence is better than subjective flavor opinions from imperfect humans.

Re:Big Surprise (4, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711681)

We secretly replaced this group's sushi with Folger's crystals. Let's see if they notice...

Re:Big Surprise (4, Insightful)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711901)

Well, yes and no. With any dish, ingredients are going to vary in quality and the cooking/preparing will also vary. So you go into a restaurant, order Red Snapper and after eating it you thought it was just OK. Maybe the chef didn't know what they were doing. Maybe that particular fish just wasn't a good specimen. Maybe it's been frozen a bit long. Maybe it's a bit past the sell by date.

Or maybe it's not Red Snapper.

In my personal experience, I've had really good Red Snapper, and I've not so good Red Snapper. Was the difference because of the former factors, or because of the latter? Not having a raw sample and a DNA test, I couldn't tell you for sure.

Re:Big Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710075)

Of course not. That's the American way!

mod parent up (1)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711047)

He's right, you know. "Make a profit any way you can." It's as American as Mom's Fake Apple Pie!

Re:Big Surprise (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710081)

Not me. Here in Florida, there was a huge "scandal" over Tilapia being passed off as Grouper and the state actually enforcing "truth in labeling" laws for such things, handing out fines to offenders. It's why a Grouper sandwich costs so much here, Grouper is in shorter supply and they used to simply label Tilapia as Grouper.

Re:Big Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710433)

Luckily instead of buying Grouper you can apparently buy the cheaper Tilapia instead.

Used to be quite common in Minnesota (1)

Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711349)

In a state well-known for its walleye, a local television station ran an investigative report a couple of years ago on restaurants that proclaimed to serve walleye in various forms...and found a number of them trying to pass off zander as walleye (usually by trying to call it "European walleye"). A number of them were shamed into switching to the genuine article.

Watch out for the Mafia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710045)

You just exposed one of their most profitable scams.

Re:Watch out for the Mafia (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710265)

There you go, confusing the Mafia with the Moonies [chicagotribune.com] again.

yeah, I've noticed (1)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711057)

Anonymous Coward does that all the time. I'm sure he's on BOTH their hit lists by now. If they ever find him, things are going to be pretty boring around here.

Long Dong Sliver. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710115)

"'The smaller and cheaper you make something,' he said, 'the more uses it has'"

Condoms are cheap.

not if the Christian Taliban get their way. (0, Flamebait)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711091)

n/t

That said, the hypocrites probably own plenty of contraceptive industries.

Roe (1)

TenBrothers (995309) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710161)

Give me a break. If you can't tell masago (smelt roe) from tobiko (flying fish roe) then you have simply never seen the two. You don't need a DNA scanner to tell the difference because masago is dull and solid, tobiko is jewel-like and transluscent.

seems to be common (1, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710209)

Seems like test like this were run last year as well. Product was mislabeled and sold as a product that was percieved to be more desirable. The funny thing is that, as shown here, most people cannot tell the difference, which begs the question of whether it matters that a product was substituted. Sure, from a legal and honesty perspective yes. But if a restaurant that was serving tilapia, and pricing it as such, would the diner have enjoyed it as much? In addition, I seem to recall restaurants are subbing food because the real product is either not available or prohibitively expensive, so the diner would be denied the experience of dining just because ingredients are not available.

Again, if the restaurants substituted food, they are being dishonest and should face whatever legal consequences occur. OTOH, sometimes we humans are willfully gullible just so we can enjoy the experience of eating without having to pay for it. We drink fruit drinks with almost no fruit, eat beef burritos with almost no beef, and heart healthy omelets with almost no eggs. Life, in many cases, is a fiction, and the only issue are those that believe it. Although the tech is cool, we are not going to reduce our meals to a science experiment.

Re:seems to be common (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710273)

"the diner would be denied the experience of dining just because ingredients are not available. "

You mean if a restaurant hasn't got any white tuna in I can't go and buy a steak?"

Re:seems to be common (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710651)

You mean if a restaurant hasn't got any white tuna in I can't go and buy a steak?

Not if they only have duck.

Colonel Hall: [reading new menu] Duck with orange; duck with cherries; duck surprise.
Mrs. Hall: What's duck surprise?
Basil Fawlty: Er... that's duck without oranges or cherries.
Colonel Hall: I mean is this all there is: duck?
Basil Fawlty: Yes... done of course in three extremely different ways.
Colonel Hall: And what do you do if you don't like duck?
Basil Fawlty: Well, if you don't like duck... you're rather stuck.

Re:seems to be common (2, Insightful)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710579)

"The funny thing is that, as shown here, most people cannot tell the difference, which begs the question of whether it matters that a product was substituted."

I've had godawful salmon at sushi restaurants but what is your recourse? Don't eat there pretty much. Its not like your going to call out the owner and say - hey this is shome shite fish you got here! I'd imagine most people can tell that its not as good as the normal sushi they are used to, but attribute it to bad chefs or lack of freshness. Of course some people who have never known good sushi (east coasters) would have no idea what to expect. Maybe the people who frequent these places simply have no idea what the correct fish is supposed to taste like.

"we are not going to reduce our meals to a science experiment."

If they made a handheld personal computer which took a sample of food and judged its purity, or broke down its components by DNA, there would for sure be a market. If for no other reason than to not pay for inferior food. The device would pay for itself in a month for someone who eats out alot. Empowering people to make smart buying decisions themselves always has a market. Dont think of it as a science experiment, but more of a game. Many people obsessively care about what they put in their bodies. That is why mandatory nutritional information has been on all foodstuffs since the mid 90s.

People love to catch other people in a lie. It makes them feel superior, and rightly so.

Re:seems to be common (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711015)

Of course some people who have never known good sushi (east coasters) would have no idea what to expect. Maybe the people who frequent these places simply have no idea what the correct fish is supposed to taste like.

It's charming the way that West Coasters, especially Californians, imagine they have better food than other regions. Dead wrong, but charming.

Re:seems to be common (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24711657)

{{fact}} Opinion and speculation. [[WP:RS]]

Re:seems to be common (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711871)

If it was Italian food yes, greek food maybe, but do you think a New Yorker has no rights bragging about Pizza? Much of the American version of Sushi originated in California, and yes the American Sushi bar are about as Japanese as Pizza is Italian.

Re:seems to be common (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711075)

I agree - quite often I'd bet it's not that people can't tell a difference, it's just that people generally don't open their mouths.

I personally love sushi. I generally eat "real" sushi once per week (I'll stop off for a california or spider roll at the little local Japanese restaurant more often, but that's not a "real" sushi place IMHO). Now, in my general area I've been to around 7 or 8 various sushi bars. All but 2 were of unacceptable quality - the unacceptable ones ranged from just below par, to really bad, to even one place that I had 3 roaches crawl across the bar while I was eating (called the health dept on that place).

Anyways, for all the ones rated unacceptable, I didn't pitch a fit or go to the manager. I just finished off what I'd ordered (if it was at least edible - if not I left it) and then never went back. Instead I whittled down my visits to just the 2 places that do serve sushi that I enjoy. The other places aren't likely to know that I didn't enjoy their food or that anything was wrong with it, but I'm certainly not going back.

Re:seems to be common (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710827)

You think that we should all live lies because we don't know any better? Because someone else benefits by telling me something that just isn't true? Life may be a fiction many times, and maybe I am sometimes happier for it, but I also want to know what is true and what is not. Just because I can live my life in an ignorant bliss doesn't mean that I should.

Ahhh, a RED SNAPPAH. Mmmmm, very tasty. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710233)

Kuni: Okay, Weaver, listen carefully. You can hold on to your red snapper...

Kuni: ...or you can go for what's in the box that Hiro-San is bringing down the aisle right now! What's it gonna be?

Phyllis Weaver: I'll take the box. The box!

Kuni: You took the box? Let's see what's in the box!

Kuni: Nothing! Absolutely nothing! STUPID! You're so STU-PIIIIIIIIIIID!

Re:Ahhh, a RED SNAPPAH. Mmmmm, very tasty. (3, Interesting)

ckthorp (1255134) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711857)

Supplies! Whoever modded the parent insightful apparently hasn't seen an awesome movie.

Obligatory Jokes (5, Funny)

thewiz (24994) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710251)

Roe supposedly from flying fish was actually from smelt.

Of course, the roe from flying fish are from smelt; they're the ones that are being dive-bombed!

Seven of nine samples...

Leave it to the Slashdot crowd to put a Star Trek reference in a story about seafood.

Mr. Leonard is going to be very happy (3, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710367)

If NY works the same as holland then this guy is going to be very busy, the one place whose fish passed all tests?

In holland a newspaper called AD has a feature where they test fries, patat.

The ones that win proudly display the article and do massive business because of it. With so many bad fast food places being tested as being the best is an excellent piece of advertising.

If you were going to buy fish/sushi and you just read this article, where would you go?

Something's fishy here! (3, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711099)

"If you were going to buy fish/sushi and you just read this article, where would you go?"

Uhmm...fishing?

Re:Mr. Leonard is going to be very happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24711167)

If you were going to buy fish/sushi and you just read this article, where would you go?

Not New York City?

Tobiko vs. Masago (3, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710423)

FTA: Roe supposedly from flying fish was actually from smelt.

Cheaper sushi bars do this all the time, and you don't need DNA sequencing to spot the difference. Tobiko (flying fish roe) eggs are larger than smelt eggs, and they're a clear orange color.

-jcr

Re: (5, Informative)

QuincyFree (147705) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710457)

Steve Palumbi did this back in the mid-90's for whale and dolphin products being sold in commercial markets in Korea and Japan (Baker and Palumbi 1994 Science 265: 1538; Baker et al. 1995 Molecular Ecology 5:671). Essentially they went around the fish stalls taking samples and amplifying and sequencing them in their hotel room. From the latter article abstract:


This 'spot check' revealed a surprising variety of species for sale, including minke, fin and humpback whales and one or two species of dolphins sold as 'kujira' or whale. In the Korean survey, DNA amplifications were conducted by two of us (C.S.B. and F.C.) working with independent equipment and reagents. The two sets of DNA amplifications were returned to our respective laboratories and sequenced independently for cross-validation. Among the total of 17 species-specific sequences we found a dolphin, a beaked whale, 13 Northern Hemisphere minke whales (representing at least seven distinct individuals) and two whales which are closely related to the recognized sei and Bryde's whales but could not be identified as either using available type sequences. We suggest that these two specimens represent a currently unrecognized species or subspecies of Bryde's whale, possibly the so-called 'small-form' reported from the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.

Until these guys went out and actually did the sequencing, no one knew for sure how much illegal whaling activity was going on.

allergies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710547)

i am allergic to all fish species except salmon (dont ask me how), so having sushi is a dangerous choice.

seeing that i tell the waiter and only order vegetable and salmon rolls, if the fish is mislabeled, i could be dead.

this is something that needs to be done!

Seven of nine's samples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24710603)

Seven of nine samples that were called red snapper were mislabeled...

The borg do not make mistakes. You will be assimilated. DNA Recoding is futile.

half a pun (2, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710643)

I want to do some sort of pun on Roe v. something but I can't think of anything fishy that rhymes with Wade.

Eh, the best one was from Katrina.

"What does Bush think about Roe vs. Wade?"

"He doesn't care how they get out of New Orleans."

This method has some limitations (2, Informative)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710787)

Since this relies on segments of mitochondrial DNA(not the nucleus's DNA), it fails in species with endosymbiotic bacteria, such as many arthropods and the Wolbachia bacteria. So it's unlikely this will work on, say, crab or lobster.

Wolbachia [wikipedia.org] is an awesome bacteria, as it can cause those infected with it to be unable to breed with those not infected, which could possibly induce the divergence of species. Some species have been infected with it so long, generationally, that they go sterile if you give them antibiotics.

Great... (5, Funny)

Translation Error (1176675) | more than 5 years ago | (#24710995)

Now they're performing deep packet inspection on our sushi. If we eat the wrong kind of fish, do we get throttled?

Re:Great... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711377)

Throttled? No, I'm pretty sure my wife would shoot me if I started eating the wrong fish.

Re:Great... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711605)

Throttled? No, I'm pretty sure my wife would shoot me if I started eating the wrong fish.

Or if you tried cooking it and then dousing is in soy sauce, I would imagine...

Common Practice in the Food Industry (3, Informative)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#24711663)

This is a common practice in the food industry. While there might be a few cases of people really not realize what they've bought for their consumers is the wrong stuff, by far and large, especially in the restaurant biz, they know it's not what they've claimed it to be.

Why do this do this? Profits of course! Charge $18 for a mahi meal and serve them cod or tilapia instead. The average persons taste buds aren't refined enough to know the difference.

I've been kindly asked to leave sushi places before when my "fresh super white tuna from Korea" tasted a lot like farm raised cod, which I rudely pointed out when the waitress asked me if "everything was ok". At least I got a somewhat free meal out of it!

And now that I think about it, all of the Sushi places I've been too, there's only been one or two places that actually served what they advertised. Hands down, best tasting sushi I will ever have.

Ultimately, I don't think this will change anything on the restaurant side. Grocery store side? Maybe. When you can make large profits from misrepresenting what you're selling and get away with it, the barcoding won't stop it. All it will do is help the honest business stay honest.

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