A new report by Oceana, an environmental advocacy group, found that seafood mislabeling can lead consumers to pay up to twice as much for certain fish, the group said Wednesday.
The economic impact study comes six months after Ocean first reported that about one-third of seafood sold in the U.S. is mislabeled.
That two-year study of 1,200 seafood samples found that 33% were mislabeled according to U.S Food and Drug Administration guidelines.
The latest report sought to find out just how much consumers lost when they were sold cheap substitutes. According to the group, consumers who order an 8-ounce fillet of grouper in a restaurant, which sells on average for $27, but are instead given a tilapia fillet, worth $15, they lose $12.
“Swapping a lower cost fish for a higher value one is like ordering a filet mignon and getting a hamburger instead,” said Oceana senior scientist Margot Stiles. “If a consumer eats mislabeled fish even just once a week, they could be losing up to hundreds of dollars each year due to seafood fraud.”