Should you be Testing Your Tuna’s DNA?

The next time you order sushi you may want to have its DNA tested to be sure that it is not the bluefin tuna. The bluefin tuna is dwindling in population do to over-fishing, but there are still sushi bars in the United States that are selling bluefin to unknowing customers. Just as scary is the fact that some of these sushi bars are serving escolar, which may cause patrons gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, so if the menu says tuna it may be wise to ask “What kind”.

One way to find out what you are being served is through the use of DNA barcoding. The barcoding allows for researches to identify what kinds of fish a sushi bar may be trying to sell to consumers. Many of these sushi bars failed to accurately indentify the tuna served. According to the article “Only eight of the 22 bluefin samples were labeled “bluefin” on the menus…”. Since the FDA does not require that the eight species of tuna to be placed under their own name for marketing you may not be getting the tuna that you thought you ordered. So next time you want sushi you may want to take along handle-held barcoding device with you and test the fish before you order.

Carol Fleury