Sound Fishy? Barcoding Seafood Helps Orders

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New DNA technology will soon allow restaurants around the world to make sure they serve the genuine seafood their customers ordered, instead of inferior substitutes.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a DNA barcoding system for the U.S., which will help identify particular seafood species and prevent the widespread issue of mislabeling seafood.

Mislabeling usually involves cheaper types of fish being sold as more expensive varieties. It also poses risks to human health.

In a study published in 2008, a pair of high school students found that one-fourth of fish samples they had collected around New York were incorrectly labeled as higher-priced fish.

"When they sell something that's really expensive, they want the consumer to believe that they're getting what they're paying for," David Schindel, with the Washington-based Consortium for the Barcode of Life, told The Associated Press.

"We're going to start seeing a self-regulating movement by the high-end trade embracing barcoding as a mark of quality," he said.

Countries around the world are also considering adopting similar DNA barcoding methods.

Related Link:

Barcode of Life

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