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Nov 11, 2007

Toxic Seafood Warning

Seafood inspectors, National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
In late 2007, ABC News reported that more than 80% of the fish in U.S. supermarkets was imported from developing countries.  These than 1% of this was inspected by the FDA. 

U.S. fisherman, especially in the southeastern United States faced stiff competition from foreign fish imports.  They said that they could compete with anyone in the world when there existed a "level playing field."  However, they noted that foreign fish producers were not following U.S. laws, feeding their fish illegal anti-biotics and growing them in filthy conditions.

The ABC News reports reviewed FDA records and found that when the FDA does inspect foreign fish imports, they find high levels of illegal anti-biotics, as well as harmful bacteria that if eaten over a long-term period can lead to health diseases such as cancer.  In Alabama (one of the states facing stiff foreign competition from foreign fish imports), the state administers a seafood inspection department.  This department regularly found that 50-60% of the foreign fish imports that it inspected need to be rejecteddue to the same concerns raised by FDA reports.

In October 2009, the FDA teamed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to strengthen its inspection program.

For more see:

"Toxic Seafood Warning," ABC News, 11 Nov. 2007.

United States, Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA and FDA to Combine Resources on Seafood Inspection, 26 Oct. 2009.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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