Friday, August 10, 2007

Seafood safety net has holes

Who will keep our seafood supply safe? Don't count on the US government, because our seafood safety net has holes in it.

Remember that Chinese seafood scandal? The one where some dangerous Chinese seafood was banned? Do you have confidence that the US government has fixed our seafood safety problem? Wanna buy a bridge?

According to the Associated Press, at least 1 million pounds of suspect frozen shrimp, catfish and eel from China arrived at U.S. ports under an "import alert," which meant the FDA was supposed to hold every shipment until it had passed a laboratory test. But that was not what happened. One of every four shipments the AP reviewed got through without being stopped and tested. The seafood, valued at $2.5 million, was equal to the amount 66,000 Americans eat in a year.

That's a lot of risky seafood, and some pretty large holes in our seafood safety net.

Just exactly who is being protected here? Seafood consumers, or the people that want to sell you lousy seafood?

When will the seafood industry wake up and smell the problem? There are inklings of concern, but the dominant response seems to be to circle the wagons and say everything is fine. That's a scary thought, and it's bad for the business.

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