As a North Carolina consumer, one is likely to purchase a wide range of items; however, when one buys a good, such as a food item, one believes that they are purchasing what is advertised. Unfortunately, some companies may misrepresent a product, causing consumers’ rights infringements and even direct harms to consumers.
With the high demand of fresh and local seafood in North Carolina, some companies decided to cut corners when it came to remaining in competition. Based on recent reports, in the past two years, two different companies in North Carolina admitted in federal court that they labeled the crab they sold as a U.S. product although much of the meat came from foreign countries. Much of this information is coming to light due to seafood forensics, and these companies are not the only ones doing this.
Seafood DNA, which is captured from seafood forensics, helps establish where the seafood is coming from. When something is misrepresented, this results in fraud. Consumers are paying a lot more for something that does not hold that value.
The misrepresentation of food or other goods not only harms the consumer but the market as well. Both those purchasing the seafood and those fishing for it are hurt economically by this practice. Thus, it is important that those harmed by misrepresentation or mislabeling understand the actions they could take for the harms suffered.
While a consumer may feel small when going up against a large corporation, the reality is that the unlawful practice of a company could harm one or millions of consumers. Thus, it is imperative that one understand their rights and options when it comes to filing an action to assert one’s consumer rights and to seek damages for harms suffered by a misrepresented product.