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"Fish Fraud" - 30 percent of the seafood you eat is not what it seems

By HILARY LANE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Something fishy is happening all across the country as the FDA says 30 percent of the seafood you eat is not what it seems.

It's called "fish fraud." One instance is tuna substituted for Escolar, a cheaper, lower grade fish that is often nicknamed "ex lax," because of the digestion problems in can cause. Another is fish soaked in a salt water solution so they are plumper and heavier on the scale.

Yet another is a "fresh" label placed on fish that's been frozen for days in order to bring in a few more bucks.

Vito Affatigato, owner of "Kossuth Fish Market" prides himself on great quality fish and customer satisfaction. He says a strong relationship with your wholesaler is key.

"The company I buy from has been in business for about 100 years in Boston, so they have been a reliable company," said Affatigato. "If someone comes to me and tries to sell me something, I am very skeptical of that, and I don't want to do nothing. I have everything to lose and everything to gain."

Affatigato says he inspects all of his fish when they come into his shop and he only buys domestic.

Most cases of fraud identified were in large chain restaurants or seafood purchased overseas.

Many researchers have pointed to the lack of oversight by the FDA as the main problem. Out of 1,500 inspectors, only 85 of them work with seafood.

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