Today's Washington Post has a detailed look at the catfish-farming industry in China, both its contamination and farmers' use of hard-to-trace traditional medicine to combat that contamination. (Registration required.)
A couple of key grafs. First, the extent of the problem:
[Some fish farmers] spike the water with banned substances to keep their farmed fish alive. Batches of seafood traded at the Shanghai fish market this week, for example, carried the tell-tale greenish tinge of malachite green, a disinfectant powder that has been banned in China for five years because it is a suspected carcinogen but is still commonly used.
The "traditional" solution?
Instead of using antibiotics, Zhu regularly gives his fish Gandankang, a Tibetan blend that people take for liver and gall bladder problems. He also sometimes uses a "magic grass pill" made from a root used to treat diarrhea or dysentery and help stop miscarriages in humans.
A side note: On an earlier post about this topic, a commenter named Ben Lee raised an issue which I have yet to see addressed elsewhere:
Do not think this protest is one way. We are a company to help US export to China. We are in the process of exporting Maine lobster to China. Guess what? Because of the recent US-China food safety dispute, it makes [it] much harder to export Maine lobster to China.
No doubt there's more to come on this issue.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.