In 2010, Kolbotek, the show that loves to expose secrets in the food industry, had a two-part show about the amount of water that is added and/or injected into frozen fish in Israel. You can watch the videos here:
Quite a furor arose after this show- the Knesset called an emergency meeting to discuss the issue, supermarkets ran to remove the products from their freezers, and there were public campaigns to stop buying fish from China. One of the companies, DeliDag, which is owned by Neto (think Tibon Veal, Atara, Wiliger, and more) sued Kolbotek for “lashon hara”-libel. The judgement came down last week and DeliDag lost.
One of the judges had this to say about the suit:
Not every threat that publishes a study shows damage to the consumer. The medicine for this is running to court and filing a libel suit. Sometimes it is better to bow your head, examine the results of the study, to recognize the fault if there is one, and work to correct it.
So as sensationalist as Kolbotek tends to be, this time you can accept them as truth. When you buy frozen fish, know that when it says “meubad”- “מעובד”- that means that the fish is processed and not fresh. Look at the ingredients on the back and you will find food additives such as phosphates listed. Food additives all have their E number listed with either the name or the type of food additive it is. If you see that the fish has “tzipui kerach”-“ציפוי קרח”- that fished is glazed. The law states that there can be up to 20% glazing on a fish.
Misrad HaBriut is responsible for the import of frozen and fresh fish to Israel. If you find a product on the shelf that is not labeled appropriately or appears to have too much water in it, save the fish and the package and call *5400 or email Misrad HaBriut on their web site (English) to find out where to file a complaint.