March 19, 2013 — Across-the-board federal “sequestration” budget cuts mean 2,100 fewer food safety inspections and increased risks for consumers, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.
March 1, 2013 — The problem of mislabeled fish sold to American consumers has been the subject of many investigative news reports in recent years. Although such fraud continues to gain attention, the problem persists. As much as 50-percent of seafood offered on restaurant menus is not the species listed, according to the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and, most recently, Fox News.
February 19, 2013 — U.S. Senators from Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi urged the Obama Administration to enforce U.S. trade laws and protect American catfish growers from an increasing flood of low-cost Asian imports.
Concerns over the safety of Asian imports are not limited to here in the United States. In recent years, some Australian states and territories have passed legislation to require restaurants to identify whether the seafood they serve is Australian-sourced or imported. Consumers’ support for such labeling and their preference for local seafood has led to a call for national country of origin labeling (COOL) for all seafood served in Australia’s restaurants.
China’s fish farms, which produce 70 percent of the world’s aquaculture, are having increasing problems with tilapia production due to disease, poor water quality and overuse of antibiotics. Since the United States is the largest single market for Chinese tilapia, consumers should look at the country of origin of tilapia sold in supermarkets and ask restaurants where their tilapia comes from.