You may have heard about the risks of mercury-tainted fish finding its way on to your dinner table – the F.D.A. long ago put out information on mercury in seafood. Now, according to an eye-opening article that appeared in Bloomberg, antibiotics are finding their way into the fish on your dinner plate as well. The penetration of antibiotics through the food chain is a serious problem; we have seen the overuse of antibiotics turn a possible threat into a very real one, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs.
“By British government estimates, about 700,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide. If trends continue, that number is expected to soar to 10 million a year globally by 2050—more people than currently die from cancer.”
The article mentions research that has found that up to 90 percent of the antibiotics given to pigs pass undegraded through their waste. Why does this affect farmed seafood as well? The recycling that Chinese agriculture has thrived on for thousands of years is pinpointed in the article. Essentially, the nutrients that fatten pigs is recycled through waste water and expelled into ponds that hold farmed fish. This contaminated seafood continues to turn up at U.S. Ports, as well as in restaurants and grocery stores.
Check out the article for more information on the $90 billion aquaculture trade in China, which supplies almost 60 percent of the global total, and the efforts of U.S. food regulators to monitor imported, farm-raised seafood.