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Idle Science

Seafood Raised on Animal Feces Approved for Consumers 386

Posted by samzenpus
from the smells-like-progress dept.
If you are a seafood lover and wish that you could eat more fish raised on pig feces, your dreams are coming true. Due to fierce competition in the Chinese tilapia industry, farmers are increasingly switching to feces instead of commercial feed. From the article: "At Chen Qiang’s tilapia farm in Yangjiang city in China’s Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong, Chen feeds fish partly with feces from hundreds of pigs and geese. That practice is dangerous for American consumers, says Michael Doyle, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety. 'The manure the Chinese use to feed fish is frequently contaminated with microbes like salmonella,' says Doyle, who has studied foodborne diseases in China."
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Seafood Raised on Animal Feces Approved for Consumers

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  • by skine (1524819) on Friday October 12, 2012 @02:57AM (#41627929)

    Obviously the headline is misleading, this is Slashdot.

    The basic point of TFA is that many of the practices of Vietnamese fishermen have the potential to spread disease to Americans. Also, while the FDA inspects only 2.7% of imported food, 1380 loads of seafood from Vietnam have been rejected for "filth and salmonella" in the last five years.

  • by Vaphell (1489021) on Friday October 12, 2012 @03:44AM (#41628149)

    i agree that the precise characteristics of the product are unavailable, but it doesn't require a rocket scientist to read the ingredients from time to time (yet nobody does it) or to know that the junk food is made of junk and is bad for you or that the chinese crap == shitton of nasty pollution and no worker rights whatsoever pretty much by definition.
    Ignorance is a bliss and most people choose to be oblivious.

  • by sjames (1099) on Friday October 12, 2012 @03:48AM (#41628171) Homepage

    When there's no other comprehensible information available, it's only natural they choose based on price first. The packages don't say fish raised on goose shit, now do they? In some cases, large producers have lobbied (with some success) to either prevent labeling food that avoids a controversial practice or they lobby for a definition that could apply to nearly anything sold as food including ground glass so they can slap the meaningless bullet point on their packages too.

    Even brand name is now worthless information, much of it is just the cheap stuff re-badged and sold for more these days.

  • by JakFrost (139885) on Friday October 12, 2012 @04:28AM (#41628353)

    A few years ago on a whim I bought some generic branded local supermarket Stop & Shop seafood and came up with an upper body skin rash for a month. Later looked at the label and the stuff was made in China. Later found that there was a bunch of seafood enriched with some kind of a protein additive causing such bad allergic reactions to people that show up as an upper body skin rash just like I had. I had and still have no seafood allergies at the time and ate and still eat tons of seafood at restaurants weekly and sushi of all kinds, never have any bad results.

    Last few weeks I tried to expand my home diet to include more seafood and looked at my new super market chain called Kroger and found that all of their generic fish was imported from China, including freezers full of tilapia and other fish. I could not find any non-generic seafood in this store that wasn't from China. Decided not to buy any this time around after I learned my lesson the last time. I had to travel to their competitor HEB to find some non-Chinese seafood and luckily found some Alaskan salmon at a hefty price.

    I wish America would get it's shit together and wake the fuck up and stop importing food from China because of the horrible abuses of the environment that that country is perpetrating in the name of capitalism and profit and complete disregard for environmental and human safety as long as their shit infested products sell.

    China will cut its own dick off in the name of profit and sell it to anyone willing to buy a small fried spring roll.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @05:49AM (#41628739)

    Anyone with a dog has probably seen it eat, literally, crap.

    Personnaly, I don't eat dogs ... just sayin' ...

    Anybody who has spent any time on a farm can tell you that cows eat a lot of their own shit, literally. And I'm not talking about large, industrial farms either, I'm talking about free-range cattle. I remember once watching a cow grazing on some tall grass, while another cow was shitting all over the first one's head and of course the grass it was eating.
    Pigs are even worse, they eat damn near anything. Chickens are, too.

    I'm not claiming what the article is talking about is safe. I'm saying that people need to stop being reactionary and screaming "OMFG the animal ate shit so by extension I'M eating shit too!" and go find out exactly what's going on and if it's even something to get worried about.

  • by hoboroadie (1726896) on Friday October 12, 2012 @09:17AM (#41629919)

    You can eat raw steer manure and live. (Well, at my farm you could, I would hesitate about CAFO waste.) Bird shit is chock-full of dangerous pathogens, you don't want the chicken coop anywhere near where the other critters live. Fresh air, sunlight, and happy composting organisms are used to convert nasty poop back into wholesome dirt that will grow safe edible food. Always wash your hands after you touch a bird. Wetlands- nasty, stinky swamps, are where water gets cleansed of pathogens and purified so that normal fish can live in it. Tilapia can live in warm, nasty water, but it would make them unsafe to eat.

  • by Half-pint HAL (718102) on Friday October 12, 2012 @09:57AM (#41630521)

    Yes, but there are safe cycles and unsafe cycles.

    The reason very few cultures eat the meat of carnivores is that the closer the physiology and biology of two animals, the higher the chance of the same micro-organisms infecting the two animals. I had to explain this to my mother once, to explain why cow dung is a good fertiliser, but cat shit should be kept out of the compost heap.

    If you're going to farm an animal that can harbour parasites than can also infect humans, you need to go out of your way to ensure that they don't come into contact with those parasites.

    That doesn't mean "don't feed them shit", but "be selective in which animals' shit you feed them". Which basically means ruminant shit.

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