This is one of those stories I find almost too scary to be true…yet I don’t see reason to doubt it. A study by the Biodiversity Research Institute (link) found that 84% of fish have levels of mercury that are unsafe, posing a health risk to humans. So on the one hand, we’re told to eat more fish, it’s good for you…yeah well except for the mercury part of it. 🙁 Relative to other countries, fish in the US tested better, with a bit more than 40% of samples above the recommend mercury levels. Most other countries ranked higher, in the 90+% range. Swordfish and tuna rank as the worst (highest mercury concentrations).
(via CBS News)
This is one of those stories that’s almost too ridiculous to believe until you remember that China has shown a great lack of concern for health in food products (remember the dog food scare, melamine in baby formula, pesticides in tea, and so on). Now, in an effort to boost profits, some fish farms in China are using pig and goose feces as fish food. Nutritious? Perhaps, but this does increase the risk of bacterial infections like salmonella…and is just plain gross.
The article in Bloomberg also describes shrimp processing facilities in Vietnam, where the shrimp are packed in dirty tubs, covered with ice made from local tap water.
The FDA does inspect imported food, and has rejected a lot of shipments, but the thing is, the FDA only rejects about 2.7% of imported food.
“Made in China” – ok for cheap plastic junk, but not for food! Not until they start taking health and quality seriously.