Put the Tilapia Down!
According to a 2009 study conducted by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited some alarming facts about Chinese farm-raised seafood. Researchers noted that “many of China’s farms and food processors are situated in heavily industrialized regions where water, air and soil are contaminated by industrial effluents and vehicle exhaust.” The report also stated that it “is common practice to let livestock and poultry roam freely in fields and to spread livestock and poultry waste on fields or use it as fish feed.”
The USDA report was based on documents obtained from the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees seafood inspections.
After the study was released, news organizations, including Bloomberg andMSN.com, reported the rampant use of animal feces as food in Chinese aquaculture – specifically calling out the practice on tilapia farms.
But the original USDA report did not specifically cite tilapia. Asked for comment, neither the FDA nor the USDA could confirm that it is common practice in China to feed animal feces to farm-raised tilapia.
FDA spokeswoman Theresa Eisenman said the agency was “not aware of evidence to support the claim that this practice is occurring.”
But if it is, the next question is: How much farm-raised tilapia are we eating from China? The answer is: A lot.
Cold Hard Health Effects
- Most concerning is the high level of Dioxin in farmed fish. Dioxin is a lethal substance that, once in your system, can take up to a decade to leave your body. Dioxin levels are 11 times higher in farmed fish than in wild fish.
- inflammation that can lead to heart disease, arthritis, asthma
- Not only that, because farm-raised fish are kept in cages, they have the tendency to be fattier, and can have a higher concentration of omega-6 acids. The problem with getting too many omega-3 and omega-6 acids is that they, again, may cause inflammation to the body.