The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority has asked police to investigate a reported species fraud, mbl.is reports. An Icelandic fish processing company is under suspicion of having committed seafood fraud, in accomplice with an Icelandic fish dealership. The twosome are said to have sold a lower priced fish species claiming it to be one of a higher price. The companies are accused of selling ling as Atlantic wolffish in 2010 and 2011 to foreign markets. Ling is priced far lower than Atlantic wolffish, which is also know as catfish or rock salmon.
The case took off when Matvælastofnun received a tip about the alleged fraud. The institution’s investigation suggests that the tip is based on solid grounds. The case pertains to both the fraud stipulations of foodstuff laws as well as the general penal laws, such as fraud.
A global problem
Studies show that species fraud happens with close to a third of fish products sold in foreign countries, Kjarninn reports. Food fraud is a large global problem and seafood is considered to be among the foodstuffs in which fraud is most prevalent.
Matís, a government-owned independent research company focusing on food, recently released a report on the matter. According to specialists from Matís, fraud does not only take place in fish products sold abroad, it is also quite prevalent in Icelandic restaurants.
An article by Jónas Rúnar Viðarsson, a specialist in the safety of the food value chain, suggests this is a large matter of interest for Icelandic manufacturers as Icelandic seafood competes with fraudulent food from abroad. Additionally, fraudulent food is possibly sold as Icelandic produce.