Shoppers are being duped into paying more for intensively farmed fish which is labelled as wild, it has been claimed.
The Food Standards Agency commissioned a study to find out if farmed sea bass and sea bream were being fraudulently sold.
A source close to the report, which has not yet been released, told The Times: ‘There appears to be evidence, backed by authoritative scientific tests, that there is fraudulent selling and labelling in these particular markets.
‘The problem we appear to have is that demand for fashionable fish such as sea bass and sea bream is outstripping supply.’
The Food Standards Agency’s study looked at the production method and geographic origin on the labels of fish in UK stores.
Fifteen local authorities gave information about fish on sale in supermarkets, wholesalers, fishmongers and fish markets.
Scientific tests were also reportedly carried out on 128 samples of ‘wild’ sea bass, sea bream and salmon to check whether they had been farmed.
In a statement, the FSA said the findings of its study were still being finalised.
It refused to confirm The Times report, adding: ‘Only when we are 100 per cent confident on the analysis and all the data finalised and checked will we publish the findings – this is particularly important with surveys of this type where information about retailers and industry is involved.’
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