US blocking imports of some seafood from China
- Olivia Jun 29, 2007 10:45 AM
[apologies if there's already another thread on this]
Saw this on CNN.com today:
The FDA is blocking imports of 5 types of seafood from China due to use of "drugs and unsafe food additives" including shrimp, catfish, and eel.
Makes me think about where else this is happening in the world, and once again, examine what I eat and the issue of farmed fish. And most importantly for this Canuck, why hasn't the Canadian government identified this issue?
Heard this story on NPR this morning... the list for things to be suspect of is getting too long too fast... The story also mentioned how these kinds of discoveries in the Chinese food supply are becoming far too commonplace... bad eggs being injected with yellow dye, baby formula being doctored out of flour and sugar, and even pigs being filled with waste water before going to market to increase their weight... Just some of the most unthinkable acts being committed all in the name of greed... who knows what else is going to be uncovered over the next few monthes...
I stopped buying anything from China that is a consummable. (And I don't believe these problems are limited to China either...) Just too many instances of contaminated, doctored foodstuff. It is becoming a full time job finding safe, tasty, renewable and AFFORDABLE food for my family. (Including the dog and cats.)
I won't buy any fish that I can not confirm it's origin. Look closely at "pacific" labeled fish. I found a couple that were labeled as Pacific but the small print indicates China. It was unclear if it was ocean fish (Pacific) or farmed and just had that label slapped on it.
I won't buy any food with China as its origin or if I can't tell where it came from. Local is looking more and more like the option.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) has several recent articles on this mess.
For quite some time now, I've been buying only the frozen shrimp from Matane, the Québec North Shore, or Newfoundland. (There are other sources of North Atlantic shrimp, but that is what I can get in Montréal). They are very small, but tasty. However I have no idea if the "fresh" shrimp are relatively local or thawed and originally Chinese or other dubious acquaculture...
The Chinese garlic we get may not be hazardous, but it is utterly insipid. Doubt people in China eat it - they probably grow their own.
I've been following these reports about Chinese imports with alarm, especially the outstanding investigative series in the NY Times on tainted Chinese products. Back in May, there were reports of Chinese-labelled monkfish being sold in the Chicago area actually being fugu and totally poisonous. I mean, it's really scary. Not to single out China, but I think there are some pretty major political issues that keep the U.S. from being more stringent in terms of trade standards with them.
I love the convenience of frozen fish, but after reading about those contaminents--antibiotics, bacteria, birth control pills?!?!--I was totally freaked out. I actually emailed Trader Joe's and Whole Food about how they would deal with these developments from the FDA. In their responses, Trader Joe's made it sound as though they don't sell Chinese fish, and WF said a small percentage of their frozen fish is Chinese and you can see by the labelling what is what. I appreciated the thoroughness of both responses, and I do think perhaps consumer pressure on large companies might be more effective than waiting for the FDA to do anything to protect us. I would encourage people to write so that the co.'s know that this will influence their buying decision. I know it will change mine.
BTW, everyone should check out "Darwin's Nightmare" for a real wake-up call on the implications of the global trade in fish. Almost too harrowing to watch.
There was an article in Vanity Fair on this and it was very disturbing indeed. Apparently something like ONLY 1 in 7 (if memory serves) shipments of food stuffs are even inspected....
The other deeply disturbing aspects (and certainly not just a problem in China) are working and housing conditions.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure which article you're referring to, but it is in reference to "Darwin's Nightmare," I highly reccomend renting or purchasing this documentary... For folks who enjoy food as much as we Chowhounds do, it's a must-see... It will open your eyes to a side of food sourcing that should make any viewers think hard about what they, where it comes from, and what ramifications are created by the demand which we create...