It looks like the Fish you’re picking up off the store shelf might contain Carbon Monoxide, a highly toxic gas!
Apparently the FDA – our loving watchdogs – have ok’d its use as a color preservative in meats, as it evidently helps keep us appearances for as much as 20 days. The carbon monoxide (known for its deadly tail pipe exhaust and as a carcinogen in cigarette smoke) is used to give fish and meat a fresh “red” look to appeal to buyers. However, some have warned this can also give spoiled or less-than-fresh foods the same glossy red-appearance – that is, until consumers come home to a rotten surprise.
Every package that I’ve noticed thus far has been also labelled as coming from China. A google Search revealed a report by MSN.com, citing a document on the USDA official website demonstrating that about 82% of the tilapia sold in the united states comes imported from china. Another search brought some very alarming information regarding china’s food safety standards into light. Now I’m not going to do all the math, but if 82% of the tilapia sold in the United States is imported from china, I’m pretty sure its a safe bet that huge market shares of other species of fish are imported from China as well.
If you subtract the propaganda and empty promises, this is the information we’re left with:
China has been hit by a succession of food problems in the last year – a lengthy list that includes cadmium-tainted rice, copper-sulfate tainted preserved duck eggs, fake mutton made from rat meat, pesticide-laced ginger and recycled cooking oil.
A string of “food forgeries” including eggs, beef, tofu and honey have also made news headlines in recent months.
National food safety standards fell under increasing scrutiny in 2008, after melamine-tainted milk powder affected an estimated 300,000 people – including 50,000 babies, six of whom were eventually killed.
Meanwhile, the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Wednesday announced at a regular news conference that the government was looking to strengthen standards concerning food contaminants, fungal toxins, food additives and food labels.
The overhaul is part of a five-year plan to upgrade the country’s notorious food safety regulations.
Some more great news. That MSN report I mentioned earlier? The report itself is actually on a rumor that china is feeding their untreated chicken manure
“While there are some really good aquaculture ponds in Asia, in many of these ponds — or really in most of these ponds — it’s typical to use untreated chicken manure as the primary nutrition,” Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia said. “In some places, like Thailand for example, they will just put the chickens over the pond and they just poop right in the pond.”
In response to MSN’s questioning regarding the rumor, the FDA issued a generic statement deflecting responsibility, defending their inspection practices, and claiming a lack of knowledge regarding the practice of china raising their fish on manure that, for some reason, MSN interpreted as a denial of the practice altogether.
So lets piece this information together and see what kind of picture it paints, shall we? MSN tells us from a USDA document that 82% of the tilapia sold in the US is imported from china. Fish clearly labelled as being imported from china lists on the packaging that it contains, or has been treated with carbon monoxide, a highly toxic gas.. to preserve color. Upon further inspecting Chinese food safety standards, we find not only rumors of farms of fish being raised on manure, but a list of food violations by Chinese producers ranging from extrememly toxic heavy metals like Cadmium in the rice, to fake mutton made of rat meat, to pesticide laced ginger to a string of food forgeries!? I could go on but I’m getting sick..
We are flooding our seafood market (and god know what other food industries with dirt poor quality seafood. Seafood that contains ingredients or has been processed with ingredients that are genuinely toxic to the human body. As consumers I think it is important to avoid buying fish imported from china not only because its in our best interest on an individual level for our continued health, but also because when you flood an industry with food of such poor standards, it lowers the base standard for the industry, making quality foods more expensive. It is important that we start seeing every shopping choice we make as being a part of a political-economic atmosphere, because politics (in our county and around the world) have become a business, and if we want standards to change, our dollar is our most powerful tool for voicing our opinions.