Sushi in Los Angeles mislabeled 47 percent of the time, UCLA study finds staff via KABC logo
Thursday, January 12, 2017

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Did you order the halibut or red snapper on your sushi? According to a study by UCLA and Loyola Marymount University, you probably won't get what you ordered because Los Angeles sushi restaurants sell mislabeled fish 47 percent of the time.

The study, which was conducted between 2012 and 2015, found that different fish had better labeling results than others.

For example, tuna was nearly always tuna and salmon was only mislabeled about 10 percent of the time.

But every time a researcher ordered halibut or red snapper they were always served a different kind of fish. This happened a combined 75 times, according to the study.

Researchers said a one-year sampling of high-end grocery stores landed similar mislabeling rates.

The finding led researchers to believe a bait-and-switch may occur earlier in the supply chain than at the point of sale to consumers.

"Half of what we're buying isn't what we think it is," said Paul Barber, a UCLA professor and senior author of the study. "Fish fraud could be accidental, but I suspect that in some cases the mislabeling is very much intentional, though it's hard to know where in the supply chain it begins. I suspected we would find some mislabeling, but I didn't think it would be as high as we found in some species."

Researchers said while the study took place in Los Angeles, it aligns with similar results in previous studies in other locations as well.

Consumer fraud isn't the only issue with the results. Researchers stated the results suggests environmental regulations could be undermined and consumers could be put at risk when making decisions about health and allergies.

To read more about the study, click here.