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Subway’s tuna sandwiches contain ‘no tuna DNA’ , lab study concludes

‘We cannot identify the species,’ say scientists

Clara Hill
Wednesday 23 June 2021 13:04 BST
<p>A study found no traces of tuna fish, according to the New York Times </p>

A study found no traces of tuna fish, according to the New York Times

A lab study has unearthed no traces of tuna DNA in the tuna fish that was collected from Subway stores.

The study, commissioned by the The New York Times, sought to discover if the tuna fish that Subway offers on their menu of sandwiches actually contains tuna fish DNA.

They sent “more than 60 inches worth of Subway tuna sandwiches” to a lab, who wished to remain anonymous, for testing.

Documents from the study reads, "No amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample and so we obtained no amplification products from the DNA therefore, we cannot identify the species.”

However, despite this study finding no traces of tuna fish DNA, another study initiated by Inside Edition did in fact find traces of tuna DNA.

A spokesperson from the lab who located no traces of tuna DNA told the the Times, “There’s two conclusions. One, it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification. Or we got some and there’s just nothing there that’s tuna.”

The Times acknowledged that when tuna is cooked and seasoned, its DNA is more difficult to locate. Additionally, the Seafood List acknowledges there are 15 types of tuna, and the lab only tested for five types via PCR test.

These investigations were sparked by a legal battle over claims that the fast food chain’s tuna sandwiches contained no tuna. The case was filed by two women, Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin, in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California in January.

The women alleged a number of complaints, such as intentional misrepresentation and fraud, claiming they “were tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing.” A member of their legal team told The Washington Post, “We found that the ingredients were not tuna and not fish.”

A statement issued by Subway regarding the filing read, “There is simply no truth to the allegations in the complaint that was filed in California. Subway delivers 100% cooked tuna to its restaurants, which is mixed with mayonnaise and used in freshly made sandwiches, wraps, salads that served to and enjoyed by our guests.”

It continued, “Given the facts, the lawsuit constitutes a reckless and improper attack on Subway’s brand and goodwill, and on the livelihood of its California franchisees. Indeed, there is no basis in law or in fact for the plaintiff’s claims, which are frivolous and are being pursued without adequate investigation.”

The Independent reached out to Subway for comment.

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