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Study Finds 31% of Seafood in Florida Is Mislabeled

EMSL Analytical provides food authenticity testing to ensure products are what they claim to be.


International Ocean Advocacy Group Oceana revealed in a recent study that 31% of the seafood being sold in South Florida was mislabeled. Restaurants found guilty of presenting mislabeled seafood can face fines of $1,000 and possibly have their license suspended or revoked.

The types of fish that were examined in the study include red and yellowtail snapper, grouper, wild salmon, white tuna, and yellowtail. These fish are commonly found in South Florida and have a history of being mislabeled in the area.

The most commonly mislabeled fish was king mackerel being sold as grouper—which is dangerous since king mackerel is very high in mercury. Pregnant women and individuals with health restrictions are often advised to stay away from king mackerel.

Other studies concerning the authenticity of seafood have been conducted in other American cities and reported similar results. In Los Angeles, 55% of seafood was found to be mislabeled, and 48% was in Boston.

Sushi restaurants were found to be the worst offenders; nine out of ten samples in Los Angeles were mislabeled, and 58% were in South Florida.

“EMSL Analytical, one of the nation’s leading DNA analysis laboratories, has received an increasing number of requests to analyze food products for fraud or mislabeling,” states Charles Li, Ph.D., Director of EMSL’s PCR and DNA Analysis Laboratory. “We can quickly authenticate food products with DNA Analysis, using PCR testing. Our methods give us the most precise identification possible and have helped many of our clients determine what a product really is.”

For more information about EMSL’s food testing division, please contact EMSL at 800-220-3675, , or visit or

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a full service testing company providing quality lab services under the same private ownership since 1981. Including the corporate lab facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, EMSL Analytical operates over thirty laboratories nationwide in the US and Canada. We provide analytical services for environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, forensics and materials science, consumer products, food safety, PCR, pharmaceutical, asbestos, lead, and radiological samples. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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