...The Lab Results
Finally, after more than a month of waiting, the lab results arrived.
"No amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample and so we obtained no amplification products from the DNA," the email read. "Therefore, we cannot identify the species."
The spokesman from the lab offered a bit of analysis. "There's two conclusions," he said. "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." (Subway declined to comment on the lab results.)
To be fair, when Inside Edition sent samples from three Subway locations in Queens out for testing earlier this year, the lab found that the specimens were, indeed, tuna.
With all testing, there are major caveats to consider. Once tuna has been cooked, its protein becomes denatured " meaning that the fish's characteristic properties have likely been destroyed, making it difficult, if not impossible, to identify.
All of the people I spoke with also questioned why Subway would swap out its tuna.
"I don't think a sandwich place would intentionally mislabel," Mr. Rudie from Catalina Offshore Products said. "They're buying a can of tuna that says tuna.' If there's any fraud in this case, it happened at the cannery."
Peter Horn, the director of the Ending Illegal Fishing Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, agreed that it would be difficult to place blame on Subway if this were the case.
"In the defense of Subway, or quite a lot of these fishmongers, the further you get the fish from the bone, the harder it is to recognize what that fish is," he said.
"Most of us see the fish on the bone, skin intact, and we can recognize what sort of fish that is," he continued. "You drop the head and the tail off, it becomes more difficult, but you can still probably recognize it. You take the skin off it, you take it off the bone and you cut it into slices then you're only sort of saying, Right, what's the color and texture?'"...