Speaking of food safety (See the COOL post below), a Dallas County, Alabama, catfish farmer is featured in an Atlanta TV station’s special assignment on foreign fish.
Browns farmer Butch Wilson is shown on his fish farm talking about how U.S. catfish producers can’t compete with cheap importers who cut corners on food safety. But, they can compete with anybody in the world provided the playing field is fair. U.S. fish costs more, but the health and environmental standards are strict and safe. Yet, when it comes to foreign fish, Alabama’s food testing lab rejects up to 60 percent due to the discovery of illegal antibiotics and other contaminants. The antibiotics are used because of what the report terms polluted production conditions.
By the way, Alabama is one of only a few states that has a seafood safety testing program.
Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science and Public Interest adds that “We don’t expect to get a dose of medicine with our seafood dinner,” but that can happen, and the Food and Drug Administration currently only inspects a tiny fraction of imports.
What to do?
Know where your fish and seafood come from! All grocery stores are required to post Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), but so far, restaurants are not. The report recommends asking your waiter or waitress where the fish was produced.
Catfish and seafood are just too good to have to worry about contamination!