A NEW salmon fraud scandal has hit China. Following allegations a few weeks ago that unchecked Nordic salmon was being smuggled into the country through Vietnam, there are now claims that farmed trout from an area in neighbouring Tibet ( known as China’s Qinghai province) is being passed off as European bred salmon.
According to a survey by the Chinese state broadcaster, up to a third of salmon sold in China is actually rainbow trout and the claim has led to demand for stronger and clearer labelling.
Gu Zhongyi, a nutritionist at Beijing Friendship Hospital of Capital Medical University, told the website China.org: ‘Traditionally, salmon refers to Atlantic salmon, and it is different from trout. It is common for trout to be sold as Atlantic salmon, though.
‘Labelling should be regulated so consumers know whether they have bought Atlantic salmon or trout.’
It is claimed that dealers are repackaging the Tibetan trout and labelling it as imported European and South American salmon, and are then hoodwinking customers into buying it. The country of origin is often listed as Norway, Denmark or Chile.
One seller in Beijing said salmon and trout not only looked different, but the trout fillets were much smaller so it should be fairly easy to spot the difference.
Worried by the impact on confidence, the China Fisheries Association has issued a statement in an attempt to calm fears about food safety.
It said several types of fish were considered to be salmon, including Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon and also the rainbow trout being raised at fish farms in Qinghai province.