Both octopus brands actually contain tentacles of giant squid produced in Spain. (Photo: FIS)
Two lawsuits filed in New York for fraudulent canned octopus in sauce
Friday, November 16, 2018, 21:00 (GMT + 9)
Two class action lawsuits filed with the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, claim that the canned octopus of the Roland Food and Iberia Foods brands is actually made of giant squid (Dosidicus gigas), a cheaper seafood and least requested
Plaintiff Luis Diego Zapata Fonseca alleges that Roland Foods Corp. and Iberia Food, Inc. knew or should have known that their products for octopus did not contain octopus at all, and intentionally deceived customers into believing that they were receiving a product of higher quality and value.
Copy of the results of the DNA test carried out in a specialized laboratory where it is evident that the product inside the cans is giant squid (Dosidicus gigas)
According to the legal clamis presented, the Spanish producer for both brands would be the same, and of Galician origin, but this information is in the process of being confirmed by FIS.com.
Fonseca also maintains that he and other consumers who buy the octopus from Roland and Iberia are economically harmed by the alleged deception, because they receive a product of lower quality than the one they have bought. Also the class action says that the product is mislabelled because nowhere on the label is it announced that the product contains squid instead of octopus.
All products that are marketed in the US must be previously approved by the FDA and show the nutritional value and ingredients in their packaging ►
The Roland Food and Iberia class action lawsuit argues that the company uses the fact that the octopus and giant squid tentacle look similar in appearance once it has been processed, cut and packaged. However, the squid must undergo a chemical treatment so that the texture is more similar to that of the octopus. In addition, the chemical process that eliminates the characteristic acid taste of giant squid is not present in the octopus.
►Once the can is opened , pieces of squid tentacle can be observed cut in a way they look like octopus
A source close to the case have told FIS that there may be a fraud committed before the customs and tax authorities of the United States, Spain and the European Union since it has been declared a product by another with certificates of origin and false health in some point.
The same sources have commented that a process of investigation and monitoring of import documentation, maritime transport and export has been initiated to determine at what point of the business the customs and sanitary fraud has been committed.
It should also be taken into account that the packaging also contains nutritional information that corresponds to the octopus when inside the can there is another product with other types of nutritional specifications.
Fonseca is represented by Kim E. Richman of Richman Law Group, James P. Gitkin of Salpeter Gitkin LLP, and by Joshua H. Eggnatz of Eggnatz | Pascucci.
FIS will present another broader article next week.