Antibiotics in Chinese fish importsThe Alabama State Department of Agriculture and Industries has found antibiotics in nearly 50% of Chinese catfish imported into this country. That’s a lot of bad fish!

Here is yet another article about tainted fish, this one by Justin Blum of Bloomberg.com — Drug-Tainted Asian Fish Slip Into U.S., States Find — that is, tainted fish coming from outside the country which contain banned-in-the-US antibiotics:

Joseph Basile, an Alabama state scientist, drops a frozen catfish filet into an industrial food processor and pulverizes it into a fluffy white powder.

The grinding in a laboratory in Montgomery is part of a test of imported seafood for drugs that U.S. regulators say can cause cancer or increase resistance to antibiotics. Alabama officials have reported finding banned medicines missed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in seafood from China, Vietnam and other Asian countries.

"I’m sure that FDA would probably wish we’d go away," says Ron Sparks, commissioner of Alabama’s Department of Agriculture and Industries, which conducts the seafood testing, in an interview. "My wish is that they’d come to the table and work with us."

From the same article:

Yet, of 94 samples of Chinese catfish checked by Alabama since March, the state reports that 41 tested positive for fluoroquinolones, antibiotics banned in the U.S. for seafood. Of 13 more samples of species similar to catfish, including one called basa, five tested positive for the antibiotic. The exporting countries included Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.

Eating seafood with fluoroquinolones can increase resistance to similar antibiotics used in humans to fight infections, according to the FDA.

This testing reveals that the FDA is not doing its job with respect to "protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of … our nation’s food supply" (from FDA Mission Statement at fda.gov). But it’s quite hopeful that the individual States can and are stepping in to make sure that the food offer to our citizens is SAFE to eat. Otherwise, we as consumers are eating food that could possibly ruin our health but we may be none the wiser.

Fish farmers in China and elsewhere use medications banned in the U.S. to prevent disease among animals raised in crowded and unsanitary conditions, according to a report in July by Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer group in Washington.

Here is some more data, which if you can imagine nearly 50% of the sea food being bad for you.

Seafood from abroad accounted for 83 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. last year, compared with 57 percent in 1996, according to the Commerce Department. The U.S. imported 5.4 billion pounds of seafood in 2006, up 69 percent from 1996.

I wonder what the percentage of sick and medically treated fish being imported into the United States would be if each individual State tested their imported fish? Hmmm! I smell something fishy here. What if it were found to be even more significant? What if each state said to the food supplier, "you can’t sell that here"!

If our food suppliers were all in the US, such as the business of farming, ranching, fish farms, etc. — and what if we could convince these individuals to do the right thing (those who are not already doing the right thing) and not poison the population with all these unnecessary chemicals? It would make for a stronger nation, and a more productive nation. Instead, we have all these "sick men and women of America."

Speaking of sick, one has to question why anyone would accept and sell tainted food in the U.S. just to undercut the market and make a "killing." One would think that a business person would want customers to keep coming back. They can’t if they’re pushing up roses. Or find they can’t eat your fish because they keep getting sick. Or the food you supplied set them up to become sick and if the antibiotic prescribed that would help make them well doesn’t work anymore because you’ve been feeding them food containing that antibiotic and the viruses have grown immune. It’s just not right.

It would be helpful not to have to worry about our food sources. I’ve been speaking of the U.S. I should be speaking of honest, caring food selling businesses everywhere who will sell healthy food for all to consume, where consumers do not have to be concerned that what they eat will some day cut their days on this earth short after suffering a painful illness.

Can’t we get healthy, clean, food from healthy fish?

What can you do?

Given the present circumstances, I would suggest that you the consumer buy your food from sources that you know, and where you can find out how the food was produced, and if anything is in it that shouldn’t be, such as antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or preservatives.

(I’m beginning to think that I should research out how to grow one’s own garden and obtain one’s own fruit trees and supply this data.)

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1 Comment for "Antibiotics found in nearly 50% of Chinese Catfish"

  1. Diane Vigil

    Thanks for writing this, although it’s pretty creepy. I’m concerned that we have to be so aware of the sources of our food, and what’s done in the locations where they’re raised or otherwise produced — but I don’t see any other solution.

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