Dr Gigi Chow

Seafood Lovers Beware

In Diet, Environment on November 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm

If you eat a lot of fish, more likely than not you’re eating something that was raised on a farm and hauled in from thousands of miles away. According to NOAA, we import about 86 percent of the seafood we consume, about half of which comes from from aquaculture. And just because you find it in a gleaming supermarket fish case or on a well-presented restaurant plate doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat.

Over at Bloomberg Businessweek, there’s a pretty startling piece on the sanitary conditions on some of those farms. In Vietnam, farmed shrimp bound for the US market are kept fresh with heaps of ice made from tap water that teems with pathogenic bacteria, Businessweek reports. Tilapia in China’s fish farms, meanwhile, literally feed on pig manure—even though it contains salmonella and makes the tilapia “more susceptible to disease.” Why use hog manure as feed? Simple—it’s cheap, and China’s tilapia farms operate under intense pressure to slash costs and produce as much cheap tilapia as possible.

Harmful bacteria like salmonella aren’t the only potential health problem associated with Asia’s fish and shrimp farms. There’s also the threat of residues from the chemicals farm operators use to control those pathogens. Like US meat farmers, Asia’s shrimp farmers rely heavily on antibiotics, traces of which can stay in the shrimp. And many of the antibiotics in use on Asia’s fish farms are banned for use in the United States for public health reasons.
Read more.

  1. Reblogged this on charliekaycheyenne and commented:
    Can you pronounce the name of that fish you just bought at the supermarket ?

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