Subscribe to this Blog

Blog Archive

Subscribe Via Email

Enter your email address:

Saturday, June 30, 2007

China Seafood Blocked at the Border - Food and Drug Regulator Sentenced to Death

China's Wild West like ways in manufacturing and food production are starting to have big repurcussions.  After many children died in Panama, several countries including the US have stopped the import of children's cold medicine and tooth paste.

Last week, the US finally (after months of delays and knowledge of issues) blocked the import of fish farmed fish that were raised with unapproved antibiotics and other chemicals.  China had been experiencing a lot of fish dying off in their fish farms and they treated those fish with antibiotics and chemicals instead of finding a way to prevent the sickness in the first place.

The US started noting that incoming fish imports had levels of drugs and antibiotics that had not been tested let alone approved by the US FDA.  These same antibiotics are thought to be responsible for increased levels of drug resistance.  In fact recent reports have indicated that in the US alone there are 10 times more staff infections that are resistant to antibiotics.  It could be possible that months of contaminated fish imports (and possibly other unidentified shipments) have taken the US population to a new level of drug resistance.

Even worse possibly, China is likely consuming its own fish and foods treated with the antibiotics.  The hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens that have eaten and are likely still eating fish dosed with untested antibiotics is probably very high and growing.  That means that  China is not only growing fish in their farms but they are growing people that are becoming more and more resistant to the benefits of antibiotics.  Not to mention encouraging potential super bugs to develop in both fish and humans.

A super bug if grown could not only impact China but the rest of the world.

Tough Penalties in China

China has reacted to the tainted medicine shipments by sentencing the Chinese head of food and drugs to death for accepting bribes.  But with the fish import ban by the US, China is starting to lash out at its customers.  They have held up multiple US shipments of food into China claiming unverified quality.

Maybe China is running out of Ministers to sentence to death or maybe they haven't figured out who to kill yet.  The problem however isn't tougher penalties its stronger rules and building a culture that is more careful and controlled in production.

China's actions have created an environment that has a severe level of potential to cause a world wide epidemic, which in this instance could harm either fish or humans or anything else that consumes the fish or the chemicals and antibiotics in the waters where the fish are treated. 

Link to Tainted seafood risks China's stake in U.S. | Chicago Tribune