There is something important that most USA consumers do not know about imported seafood: most of it is untested and much of it is unfit to eat.
ABC News exposed the issue in the following video. Here are some important facts about imported seafood:
- 80% of all seafood sold in the the USA is from foreign sources.
- The FDA inspects and tests less than 1% of imported seafood.
- In the small percentage that is tested, the FDA frequently finds filthy fish and banned chemicals.
- Alabama does their own testing of seafood imports and rejects 50% to 60% of the imported seafood they test. Most other states do little or no testing.
- Malachite Green, an illegal fungicide that is carcinogenic and causes birth defects, is found in many shipments.
Another interesting bit of info taken from the video is that some seafood raised on farms in Viet Nam is raised in sewage. Yummm! Aside from illegal chemicals, antibiotics are also frequently found in the fish that is tested. Antibiotics are banned from use with fish farming. On top of all of this, cheap seafood imports are devastating the USA fish farming market.
It is obvious that we cannot count on the government to keep our food safe. The FDA’s testing facilities are overwhelmed with the growing number of food imports. Increased funding and expanded testing are not likely to happen given the current economic conditions.
Part of the problem is that when you eat seafood at a restaurant you usually have no idea where the food comes from. While you can easily check the source of seafood when you are in the grocery store, you have to ask that question when in a restaurant. It is also very likely that the person serving your meal will not know the answer.
The levels of toxicity in each individual serving is not likely to make you immediately ill, but can have a cumulative effect over time. It would be wise to check the packaging for seafood that you purchase in the store. It might be wiser yet to reject any packages that indicate that they originate in a developing nation. Your family’s health and safety could be at risk.