China has approved the labeling and sale of rainbow trout as salmon, in a move that people found very fishy.
According to a Global Times report on August 12, new rules issued by a government-run fishery organization and Chinese fishery companies allow sellers to lump rainbow trout under the umbrella name of salmonidae fish, which salmon is also a part of.
The law, which was drawn up by 13 fishery companies and CAPPMA, an organization under the Ministry of Agriculture, comes after reports in May that a third of salmon sold here are in fact rainbow trout farmed in Qinghai province.
This led to an uproar among consumers who were concerned they were being duped by mislabeled salmon, and fears that eating rainbow trout raw could lead to parasitic infection.
By legally allowing rainbow trout to be labeled and sold as salmon, government officials are hoping to settle the controversy, while imposing strict health standards and improving traceability. Additionally, the law is not mandatory, and manufacturers can choose to label their product as either rainbow trout or salmon.
But netizens aren’t convinced. The term #RainbowTroutClassifiesAsSalmon (#虹鳟鱼被归入三文鱼) has been going viral on Weibo, and people are mocking the move.
“Is the crayfish a lobster?” asked one user.
“There is a fundamental difference between capitalist salmon and socialist salmon,” wrote another.
Others questioned why the rule was set by the producers themselves.
“The industry standard is determined by the manufacturer,” one Weibo user said. “Can test results be determined by the students themselves?”
But one person delivered perhaps the most vicious line: “I don’t eat so-called salmon in China.”