Palo Alto, CA — A 4 year study by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in collaboration with the Palo Alto-based Rundex Family Foundation has published a report that as much as 65% of all canned tuna is not actually tuna, but other forms of “sea life proteins.” The study, which was commissioned by the Obama Administration on Earth Day in 2011, sought to study the impact of over-fishing on the Ocean’s ecosystems.
“We set out to help the Environmental Protection Agency understand the impacts of aggressive over-fishing,” said Rundex lead researcher Robert Colvin from the company headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. “But we soon discovered that canned tuna wasn’t really canned tuna. So they switched agencies in 2012 to the FDA and we started a ‘top down’ approach and look at processed fish products. The data doesn’t lie here. You’re not eating tuna.”
According to the 517 page report, much of what consumers are eating is a nondescript “sea protein” which has been used to supplement dwindling tuna fish stocks. It’s unclear what proteins are present, as there are no regulations or oversight after massive cutbacks in United States Federal spending in the past 6 years. However according to Rundex, the practice is over a decade old.
“Our data only goes back to 2012,” continued Mr. Colvin. “But there is some anecdotal evidence that the practice has been going on for almost a decade. Or more. I mean, this is no secret. Tuna stocks are down as much as 74% since 1970. So they’ve been packing other animal proteins into your cans of tuna.”
In a recent BBC documentary, As much as 85% of the world’s fisheries may be over-exploited, depleted, fully exploited or in recovery from exploitation. Large areas of seabed in the Mediterranean and North Sea now resemble a desert the seas have been expunged of fish using increasingly efficient methods such as bottom trawling. For Mr. Colvin of Rundex, the solution is quite clear.
“Stop eating fish,” said a terse Mr. Colvin. “I know people get all crazy when you tell them what to do, but this is really serious. We need to stop eating these sea proteins until their populations are restored. It would not kill you to cut back and choose other things to eat for a few years.”