Friday, May 23, 2008

Fake/Bluff/Cheat Department

Fake Dory Fish Fillets at it again!
A Catfish is NOT Dory Fish!

......Part 4

Would you believe that since 2002, this kind of frozen 'John Dory Fish fillet' has been selling in our Hypermarkets when it is actually, NOT the real Dory Fish?

A newspaper advertisement three days ago:-

And a flyer of another hypermart (supposedly by an 'educated' foreign company):-

The Indonesian packaging (sold in Jarkata ) did not mention "Dory":-

Until today, our Consumer Ministry and the Consumer Associations are 'silent' about the way they market this fillet, falsely labelling it as the 'first class thing'. Spoken to the Consumer Association of Penang 2 years ago. They were investigating the addition of gelatine (Halal?) to make it heavier.

So there are three things here.
1) Is this the real Dory fish or not?
2) Why must they used gelatine to double the weight of the fillet?
3) Is the gelatine safe and from what source?

For question one, it was already confirmed that it is not the real dory fish. (as in John Dory below)
It is actually a species of a river scavenger, a catfish called pangasius/basa/sutchi (Vietnamese)It is equivalent to our Ikan Patin.

They are caged bred by the thousands along the fresh-watered Mekong.

The original John Dory Fish is from the temperate sea waters and do not swim in shoals. They do not taste 'muddy'. They are classed as the "Cordon Bleu" in fish receipes and they may cost 'an arm and a leg' to eat.

The size of the actual John Dory is much larger and shorter as compared to the other, it is smaller, longer and is heavier due to the water plus gelatine to hold more water.

The Agri-food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore have even issued a stern warning to retailers with a heavy fine if found cheating. Please see a copy of their notice of 13th. May, 2005 below.

Enlarged Part 1 & 2
Enlarged Part 3 & 4
(Copy of letter courtesy of AVA of Singapore from Google)(click on image to enlarge)

While in Singapore, the supermarts followed strictly and did not mentioned anything about Dory but when eating out, almost all hawker stalls and cafes even printed 'dory fillets' on their menu!! A well known cafe at Clarke Quay still does that.

We started blogging about it to warn others in November 12th. 2006 at: and also in November 22nd. at:- also in March 14th. at:-

Would you believe that after so many years of such malpractices, the Authorities in Malaysia did not bother to look into this. What was their excuses?

It is not that we are against eating catfishes but the issue here is that the importers and hypermarkets are still advertising it (boldly enough and in full colour) in their flyers calling catfish as Dory fish! It is so blatant and it is just like showing the 'finger' to the Government.

Or is it that we do not have 'smart' people in the Ministry?

Just go to some wholesalers website and see for yourself the way they market/export this: to see that the producers (from Vietnam) themselves also label it as Dory!!

Serving to the public as dishes.The current situation here in Kl and PJ especially towards lower to mid sized western cuisine restaurants serving fish dishes, almost all of them uses this so called dory fillet as a subsitute to increase the choice available to customers. Thus when ever fish and chips, and grilled fish fillet are ordered, alternative are preferred because they are cheaper. It was surprising to note that several well known fish eateries for western dishes are even located at high end places such as The Mid-Valley, One-Utama. The Curve. The Pavilion and the Queensbay Mall in Penang, are already involved in using and naming them as dorys.

This have got to stop. Consumers must be made aware what they are ordering and what they are actually eating. Even frozen 'quick-cook pre-packed' meals, stating only whitefish meat as an ingredient, must declare with the actual fish used.

Maybe, each and everyone of us should make a unified report to the Consumer Associations to stop all these cheatings. Either that or we are not bothered by it ourselves?

Still talking about being "Smart Consumers? Talking since 2005!!!! No action! Duh!