Health Alert, Part Three: “Alaskan Fish” from China

Many consumers may be unknowingly consuming dangerous fish from China.


In many supermarkets you may find in the frozen food section, bulk packages of fish fillets. These bulk packages include common varieties such as pollock, cod, and orange roughy.


A recent trip to the supermarket revealed something quite alarming. The prominent labeling on many of these bulk packages was that the fish was from Alaska. For example, the label may say on the front in bold print: “Alaskan Cod.” Surprisingly, if you flip over these packages and read the small print, in most cases you will see they are a product of China.


Even if you do not purchase these products from the supermarket, your favorite restaurant may. Be sure to ask what the country of origin is of the fish that you are eating. Even so, the labeling is so confusing that the restaurant may in good faith not realize they are buying Chinese processed fish.


Samples of fish products from China have revealed contamination from dangerous substances such as formaldehyde, malachite green, sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid.


These substances are used to preserve the food, hide spoilage, and treat fish for parasites.


Why do the Chinese use these dangerous chemicals?  One reason is that the country lacks the infrastructure that the United States has. Their road system is primitive, there is widespread lack of cold storage, and in the entire country, according to A. T. Kearney, there are only 30,000 refrigerator trucks for transporting food.


Another very important reason for the use of these chemicals is that a market economy is relatively new to China. Collectively, the Chinese simply do not understand how important trust is to the functioning of a market economy.


Under socialism, trust means nothing. Under socialism, power, political connections, and coercion is everything. Thus to some Chinese “businessmen,” violating trust and committing fraud to increase profits seems like an acceptable thing to do.


In time the Chinese marketplace will evolve. In the meantime, buyer beware!


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