Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Sign of the Times: Restaurant Fraud

July 7, 2011
Study: Salmon served in some Puget Sound restaurants often mislabeled

More than 38 percent of restaurant samples tested by students in the UWT’s introductory biology classes were mislabeled, said Erica Cline, assistant professor in the university’s environmental program.

For what it is worth, I remain bearish on our restaurant industry.

Ray Riutta, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute executive director, said the mislabeling, whether intentional or accidental, is cheating both the customer and the seafood industry.

Was king salmon ever accidentally served instead of farm-raised fish? Somehow I kind of doubt it.

16 comments:

mab said...

For what it is worth, I remain bearish on our restaurant industry.

Really? The recovery that's now 3 years old is just too young to die.

That quote cracks me up!

Word ver: "densf"

Stagflationary Mark said...

mab,

The young ones are sowing the seeds. ;)

GawainsGhost said...

Actually, Mark, it's perfectly legal for a restaurant to call a dish whatever it wants. For example, in many places what is sold as red snapper is really talapia. Call it false advertising, call it whatever you want, but don't call it illegal because it's not.

I'm grizzly bearish on the restaurant industry. Over 80% go out of business after six months.

getyourselfconnected said...

Well no salmon at Chipotle thats for sure! I may differ, I think americans will eat no matter what, even ahead of paying the mortgage or credit card. Not that we have seen any of that, nope.

Stagflationary Mark said...

GawainsGhost,

It is fraud if anyone sells me one thing and claims it is another. Restaurants are not exempt.

Fraud

Common law fraud has nine elements:

a representation of an existing fact;
its materiality;
its falsity;
the speaker's knowledge of its falsity;
the speaker's intent that it shall be acted upon by the plaintiff;
plaintiff's ignorance of its falsity;
plaintiff's reliance on the truth of the representation;
plaintiff's right to rely upon it; and
consequent damages suffered by plaintiff.


All 9 of those apply if I am told it is king salmon, pay the price for king salmon, believe it is king salmon, and am instead served farm-raised salmon.

Fraud!

Stagflationary Mark said...

GYSC,

I may differ, I think americans will eat no matter what...

It is hard to disagree with that. Sigh.

Stagflationary Mark said...

False advertising

The Supreme Court of California clarified the statute in American Philatelic Soc. v. Claibourne, stating that “the rules of unfair competition” should protect the public from “fraud and deceit.”

Fraud!

Stagflationary Mark said...

Selling me farm-raised salmon packaged as king salmon is the same as selling me subprime debt packaged as AAA rated debt.

The only difference is whether or not I would choose to pursue justice in a court of law. In other words, would the monetary amount of the fraud be worth my time and resources.

In the case of a restuarant defrauding me, I would simply choose to not visit them again (which over the long-term could be its own form of justice).

GawainsGhost said...

Well, you might not want to believe it, but this happens all the time. Restaurants are legally able to call any dish whatever they want. Red snapper, talapia, what's the difference?

It is fraud. I know that. So is the precious metals market, just like the housing market before it.

Caveat emptor, my friend.

getyourselfconnected said...

Gawains!!!!!!!!! Blasphemy about precious metals!

Stagflationary Mark said...

GawainsGhost,

Restaurants are not legally able to call any dish whatever they want. They certainly can't serve up dog food and claim it is king salmon.

Restaurants walk the line. They figure if they substitute farm-raised fish then most would not even notice, fewer would be able to prove it, and fewer still would take them to court.

Further, they often push the responsibility onto the server.

"Is this king salmon? Yes, it is the freshest of king salmon."

This would not necessarily be fraud if the server doesn't actually know the truth. This goes back to "the speaker's knowledge of its falsity;" condition. The speaker (the server) may not really know for sure and you need them to know it for it to be fraud. Otherwise, it is simply a false opinion.

That said, if the menu says king salmon and you are served farm-raised salmon then it is fraud and you could definitely get justice in the court system. Would it be worth your time though? I doubt it.

Well, you might not want to believe it, but this happens all the time.

I do believe it. I saw fraud first hand at the company I once worked at.

That's the point I am trying to make. Fraud is widespread. It is a sign of the times.

Stagflationary Mark said...

GYSC,

Hahaha!

"A mine is a hole in the ground with a liar standing over it."

mab said...

Fraud!

Stag,

Fraud is the core problem. It's mind boggling that TBTB (Greensham, Bernanke, Geithner, Rubin, Summers, Paulson, etc.) get away with euphemistically labeling the Fraud as "innovation". Credit fraud is innovation???? WTF! Americans are imbeciles for allowing such nonsense.

The Fed's actual mandate exists to ensure that our credit money system is used for productive endeavors that correspond over time with increased economic output. The Fed also has an explicit duty to ensure that banks are NOT extending credit for unsound and speculative purposes.

Like I keep saying, the knowledge of stewardship has been lost. It's a race to the bottom. Enjoy the ride! (gallows humor, sigh).

Keynesianism, gold standard, whatever - none of it makes a difference without honesty, rule of law and stewardship.

Stagflationary Mark said...

mab,

Enjoy the ride! (gallows humor, sigh).

Dirty limerick time. Apologies in advance. There's still time to avert one's eyes.

There once was a man from Las Vegas
Who planned to defraud! Most outrageous!
He lended our cash
As he created his stash
And we all got a shaft in the anus!

It's the shaft that keeps on giving too. Sigh.

GawainsGhost said...

Well, a restaurant cannot serve dog and call it fish. That would be stupid, because obviously it is not fish. They could serve dog and call it beef though, like the street vendors in Mexico do. Or they could serve one fish, talapia, and call it another, red snapper, which they do all the time.

It's sort of like scratching a record and calling that music.

Stagflationary Mark said...

GawainsGhost,

It's sort of like scratching a record and calling that music.

Indeed. That would fully explain the tune our banking system has been playing.