Filed Under: Seafood

Fish Fraud, Back Again

Only eat what we tell you to eat. That’s the edict from the misnamed Seafood Choices Alliance (SCA), a consortium of food agitators determined to steer the public away from fish they deem politically incorrect. Frustrated with failed attempts to legislate a wide array of seafood delights off our plates, SCA is now passing out wallet-sized cards listing fish that it doesn’t want you to eat. Though billed as an innocuous information campaign, this holier-than-thou coalition of food-scare professionals is really intent on dictating their food choices to the rest us. If they get their way, you’ll never eat shrimp again. Or swordfish, Chilean Sea Bass, grouper, orange roughy, bluefin tuna … and the list goes on.

This isn’t the first time the Seafood Choices Alliance has tried to pry Americans from their seafood choices. The group was also behind the fully-discredited “Give Swordfish a Break!” campaign. That bogus promotion was cooked up by radical green PR guru David Fenton and designed to steer Americans away from Atlantic swordfish. It relied heavily on the myth that this tasty fish was on the verge of extinction. The swordfish hoax was termed “flawed to the core” by U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials and prompted the National Marine Fisheries Institute to declare that swordfish weren’t even in danger of extinction.

This newest effort is being funded by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation — the sugar daddy behind many of the SCA’s member groups. SeaWeb, another Packard donee and the one of the chief scaremongers behind the phony swordfish scare, is also involved in SCA’s campaign to yank certain fish off our dinner plates. SeaWeb’s president admitted to reporters that she chose Atlantic swordfish as her poster-fish because it would capture the public’s imagination, not because it was threatened. SeaWeb began as a “project” of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which — surprise, surprise! — is also a member of the Seafood Choices Alliance. NRDC and Fenton teamed up to manufacture the infamous Alar-on-apples scare in 1989. As it turned out, that particular phony “information” campaign was designed to make money for NRDC — not protect consumers and the environment as Fenton’s chosen spokespersons claimed.

To get an idea of the Packard Foundation’s serious agenda to limit the food choices of consumers, look no further than the Public Health Institute (PHI). Packard has given over $10 million to PHI, a radical group of dietary zealots that calls for tobacco-style restrictions on food including price controls; minimum age requirements to buy certain products; limiting the number, density, and location of fast food restaurants and convenience stores; and outright product bans. This enemy of food-choice even wants to “prohibit access to junk foods” by placing them behind convenience store counters alongside the cigarettes and pornography. That’s not information — that’s restriction.

Another prominent member of this new anti-fish campaign is the ever-radical Greenpeace, a group determined to restrict not only food choices, but in some instances, food itself. As part of its rabid campaign against genetically enhanced crops, Greenpeace has unconscionably used scare tactics to keep starving Africans away from life-saving biotech food aid. And Greenpeace activists regularly destroy food crops that don’t meet their ideological standards.

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