A recent investigation by NBC’s Today show has apparently revealed that some imported seafood “may contain toxic chemicals that can cause serious health problems.” Testing conducted by Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Oklahoma authorities has reportedly found contamination in shrimp, catfish, crabmeat, and tilapia imported from China, Indonesia Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
“Footage taken by a U.S. advocacy group of seafood being raised in Vietnam, for example, showed fish in dirty sewage water, pumped with toxic antibiotics and banned drugs just to keep them alive, boosting production and driving down costs,” states the Today report, which claims that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests less than 2 percent of all seafood from overseas. Those test results allegedly indicated that in 2010, 8 percent of the sampled seafood from China and 16 percent from Taiwan was tainted with chemicals and drugs prohibited in the U.S. food supply.
In response, FDA released a statement explaining, in part, that approximately 5 to 7 percent of all imported seafood samples reviewed each year under the agency’s testing program have been “found to be contaminated with unapproved drug residues.” The agency said it targets repeat offenders and rejects the products until they comply with FDA regulations.
Noting that “the vast majority of seafood coming in does not exhibit any kind of problems,” a spokesperson from a trade group representing the imported seafood industry told Today that most importers comply with regulations. “Unfortunately, there are bad actors in every industry,” he said. See MSNBC. com, November 17, 2010.