Alabama and Mississippi have banned Chinese catfish after finding them pumped full of fluoroquinolones, an antibiotic banned by the FDA for use in animals that people eat.
Cheap imported Asian catfish have been undercutting American catfish farmers for years, driving some out of business even as they complained about the foreign fish illegally containing antibodies. It wasn’t until the melamine scare, though, that they could get the bandwagon started.
“Well, we know the FDA only checks a little over 1 percent of the food,” said Mississippi Department of Agriculture Commissioner Lester Spell. “So if you’re finding that type of volume, there’s a tremendous problem out there. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
The director of the Mississippi Poison Control Center said that eating the tainted catfish poses no risk to anyone eating them.
However, not courting Delta catfish farmer could prove toxic to Spell’s re-election bid. — BEN POPKEN
States Ban Catfish Imports From China Over Tests [NPR] (Thanks to Frank Grimes!)
Photo: Miss Catfish 2007
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