Who knew? No such thing as organic fish

March 11, 2008

There is no organic standard set by the USDA’s National Organics Program for seafood, and the green USDA certified organic label is not allowed on seafood products.

Also worth noting is the fact that because there is no USDA standard, it is also impossible for the USDA to prosecute manufacturers in other countries for mislabeling.

Though fish can’t be certified organic, it’s not too difficult to go to the market and find fish labeled as organic. This fish is generally farmed and fed organic feed pellets and possibly raised in roomier and cleaner swimming pens. None of these claims can be substantiated, however, so be wary of spending extra money on organic fish and thinking it’s better.

If you want salmon, look for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified wild salmon from Alaska. Consider it a special treat — it is one.

To see which products are available with the MSC label in the US, go to: http://eng.msc.org/ and click on ‘Where To Buy Sustainable Seafood.’

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