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February 2, 2012

The Truth About Eco Labels for Farmed Fish

Read this article from TAKE PART it's pretty scary stuff.......
         The Truth About Eco Labels for Farmed Fish

If you’re spending a little extra money on farm-raised fish with a sustainability sticker, you may be getting short-changed.

According to a Pew Environmental Group funded study released Wednesday by Canada’s University of Victoria Seafood Ecology Research Group, a number of seafood eco-labels simply aren’t living up to their promises. That’s bad news for consumers who rely on those prominent stickers to figure out what’s O.K. to eat.

The study looked at 11 species of farm-raised marine finfish, including Atlantic cod, Atlantic salmon, barramundi, grouper, and European seabass. Researchers then examined environmental impacts of fish production, including antibiotic use, pathogens, escapes and sustainability of the feed. The group then compared 20 eco-labels that included organic, retail certification and third-party labels and found that many were misleading.
“Eco-labels are abundant in the marketplace, but there’s little to them but the label,” John Volpe, Ph.D., a marine ecologist and lead author of the report, tells TakePart. “Many retailers don’t provide any information other than the sticker, and give no indication to what they’re basing their claims on. There’s no meat on the bones.”
For organizations that poured valuable resources into developing and marketing their labeling programs, there’s added bad news—very little progress has been made in driving change in the aquaculture industry, says Volpe. Many eco-labeled farmed fish are on par with conventionally grown seafood, despite the higher price tag.
So which labels did best in the study? At the very top is the U.S. National Organic Standard for farm-raised salmon, (which is not yet in effect). The World Wildlife Fund’s Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue also fared well, while U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer and the seafood retail industry's label Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) ranked low on the list.
Read the rest of this interesting article HERE

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