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Seafood warning: Why you may be eating toxic antibiotic-tainted fish from China

Saturday, March 4, 2017 23:11
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(Before It's News)

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Scientists and medical professionals have long been concerned about
the advent of “superbugs” – bacteria that have mutated in order to
become ""
target="_blank">resistant to antibiotics
. Troubling new
research has emerged showing that antibiotic residue can be
found in a significant portion of the seafood imported from
– meaning that evidence of this growing threat can
now be found on your dinner plate.

To learn how antibiotics make their way into imported shrimp,
tilapia, salmon, and tuna – and to find out how to reduce your risk
of exposure – keep reading and share this news to help save

American trade organizations sound the alarm on
contaminated seafood

According to the Southern Shrimp Alliance, a trade organization
of American shrimp producers, the United States is currently awash
in ”fraudulently labeled and unsafe seafood.”  A surprising
80 percent of the seafood eaten in America is imported,
with much of it coming from Asian countries
.  In
fact, in 2014 the U.S. imported $2.9 billion worth of seafood from
China alone, making it the third largest exporter to this

Unfortunately, many of China’s laws regulating seafood are
either lax or difficult to enforce, leading to rampant health
violations and low standards – and to the presence of unsafe
substances in Chinese seafood destined for American markets. 
To make matters worse, food consumers can expect little protection
from the ""
target="_blank">U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) – which
only inspects between 1 and 2 percent of the incoming seafood.

However, last year the FDA did take some action to stem the tide
of tainted seafood. (We can only imagine how bad it must be for the
FDA to take any action at all)

FDA issues an import alert on Chinese seafood

In June of 2016, the FDA released an import alert calling for
the detention of several types of aquacultured fish – including
shrimp and eels – originating from the People’s Republic of
China.  The alert was triggered by an FDA study that found
that 25 percent of all Chinese seafood had traces of
chemicals prohibited for use in seafood in the U.S. –

including unapproved drugs and dangerous food additives.

Researchers found nitrofurans – a group of href=
– in shrimp in amounts above 1 ppb,
or parts per billion. The antibacterial compound malachite green
was found in dace, eel and catfish in concentrations ranging from
2.1 ppb to 122 ppb. An antiseptic dye, gentian violet, was detected
in eel and catfish at 2.5 ppb to 26.9 ppb, while fluoroquinolones,
a class of broad-spectrum antibiotics, were found in catfish in
amounts ranging from 1.9 ppb to 6.5 ppb.

Gentian violet, malachite green and nitrofurans are prohibited
in seafood in both the United States and China – yet the FDA
maintains that residues continue to appear in Chinese
seafood.  All three compounds have been found to be
carcinogens, while fluoroquinones have researchers worried because
they can increase microbial resistance in human pathogens.

In another disturbing study conducted from 2006 to 2011,
researchers found that 43 percent of samples of Chinese seafood
contained multidrug-resistant strains of bacteria.

How do chemical residues get into the fish?

It is a common practice in China to funnel waste from pigs into
ponds where fish are being raised. In pigs that are receiving
antibiotics, up to 90 percent of the drug can pass
undigested through the urine and feces
– and from there
into the fish and shrimp. The filthy condition of the water often
results in the need to treat fish with large amounts of veterinary
drugs – leading to still more antibiotic overload.

One of the drugs making its way into fish is colistin, an
antibiotic which has fallen into disfavor because of its kidney
toxicity – but one that is still sometimes used as a last resort
for multi-drug-resistant bacteria.

However, it may not be effective for long.  Scientists
recently discovered a colistin-resistant gene – one that can turn
bacteria into “superbugs” – in patients, food and environmental
samples in more than 20 countries – testimony to the pervasiveness
and consequences of antibiotic residue.

And, wild-caught Chinese seafood is not necessarily any safer
than the “farmed” variety. Many of China’s major fishing areas are
extremely polluted with heavy metals, industrial waste and chemical

Trans-shipping is an international “shell game”

Making the problem worse is the fact that China participates in
“trans-shipping,” the act off shipping fish through other countries
on its way to the Western Hemisphere. By using disposable import
companies that can be easily dissolved, unethical exporters can cut
out tariffs and avoid close inspection.

According to, Chinese producers often use
Malaysian companies to sneak shrimp into the United
.  In an attempt to alleviate the problem, the
FDA issued an import alert last April allowing its district offices
to detain and test all imports of shrimp and prawn from Peninsular

How to protect yourself from toxic seafood

To avoid buying Chinese seafood, make sure to carefully read all
labels to determine the country of origin. Be wary of phrases such
as “prepared in,” “packed in,” or “imported by” – all of which
could indicate the fish was raised in one location and processed in

It is also a good policy to choose fresh fish over frozen, and
smaller fish over large – which tend to have smaller accumulations
of toxins in their bodies.

When it comes to avoiding antibiotic residue in fish, your best
bet is Alaskan salmon, which can be obtained target="_blank" href="/r2/?url="

Interesting to note, Alaska doesn’t allow salmon farming and the
pollution of Alaskan rivers is forbidden by state charter.  In
other words, Alaskan salmon is, by definition, wild-caught and much
less likely to be contaminated.

In addition, Alaskan salmon offers exceptional health benefits.
Long-chain fatty acids such as EPA and DHA in wild-caught salmon
can cut risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce the oxidation of LDL
cholesterol, support healthy artery function, lower triglycerides
and moderate blood pressure.

Editor’s note: ""
target="_blank">Vital Choice is a trusted source
fast home delivery of the world’s finest wild seafood and organic
fare, harvested from healthy, well-managed wild fisheries and
farms. {It’s my personal favorite and, yes, your purchase does help
to support our operations – at no additional cost to you}


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