Dr. Keiichi Matsuura, an Ichthyology researcher in the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, Japan, was recently featured in the June 2010 Issue of DISCOVER Magazine for his expertise help in identifying the mystery poisonous culprit that caused serious food poisoning to diners in Chicago, California and New Jersey in March 2007.
Photo: Kelvin K P Lim
The unfortunate incident termed “The Pufferfish Deception” had people eating what they thought to be monkfish, but in reality was Lagocephalus lunaris, a pufferfish which carries its toxin in its flesh unlike its counterparts carrying their toxins in their organs that can be easily removed. There are only very subtle morphological differences between L. lunaris and two other species of less poisonous pufferfish that is unrecognizable to fishermen, but all too clear to Dr. Keiichi Matsuura. In this case, this confusion resulted in dire ramifications, jeopardizing the health of the general public.
To read more about the article and the section featuring Dr. Keiichi Matsuura, please click HERE.