Species Substitution of a Different Elk

Kudos to FDA for issuing a Warning Letter for an alleged case of species substitution. It wasn’t seafood related, but it was a crack down on species substitution nonetheless. In this situation, FDA reports finding the following:

  • Black Bear Burger product that actually contained elk/red deer meat
  • Black Bear Steak product that actually contained Brown Bear

The take away from this Warning Letter is that species substitution may cause products to be adulterated and misbranded both violations of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (the Act).

The products were considered adulterated in that a valuable constituent (Black Bear) had been omitted and another ingredient had been substituted. Also the products were considered misbranded in that they were offered for sale under the name of another food.

When customers aren’t getting what they pay, for be it Black Bear Steak or a grouper sandwich, they are getting cheated. And that is against the law.