China online mega retailer removes rainbow trout products

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JD.com has reportedly removed the fish off its shelves.

The site, which is China’s second-largest e-commerce company behind Alibaba, is now only selling Denmark salmon caviar according to the Chinese site, Global Times.

It’s not yet known if the move follows Chinese fishery authorities’ decision to label rainbow trout as a kind of salmon.

On August 10, the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance rolled out a standard that lists rainbow trout as a type of salmon. It will be officially labeled “sanwenyu” usually understood in Chinese Mandarin to mean salmon.

But the new standard has raised controversy albeit confusion.

According to a Mandarin-speaking lawyer, Nicola Aporti from Shang Hai based HFG Law & Intellectual Property talking at lexology.com, the draft, called “Salmon for raw consumption”, is aimed at regulating “definition, requirements, inspection methods, inspection principles, label, indications, packaging, transportation and storage for raw salmon”. This standard shall be applicable to raw salmon products that are processed directly from fresh and frozen salmon.

The part that raised eyebrows was the article 3.1, which defined “三文鱼 – salmon” as “a general denomination for the varieties of Salmonidae, which includes Atlantic Salmon (Salmo Salar), Rainbow Trout, Silver Salmon, Chinhook Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Chum Salmon, Humpback Salmon etc”.

The new standards caused enough waves to make the Shanghai Consumer Council hold an open debate on where industry leaders and businesses were urged to respect consumers’ right to know “about the products they consume”.

SalmonBusiness has contacted JD.com for comment.