If you thought fish was a healthy food, think again. Approximately 12.5% of all food borne illnesses in the United States comes from an individual eating tainted fish. That number may not seem alarming but it translates to one out of every eight food borne illnesses. As a society we eat much less fish than we do most other types of meat, and as such the importance of that statistic is magnified. The fish are toxic, because of their flesh.
Of all the seafood eaten in the United States, 80% is imported. The countries the U.S. chooses to import fish from do not have the same FDA regulations as we do. They also do not have the same stance on pollution and as such the fish we get in the market are tainted with all sorts of chemicals. The FDA doesn’t even expect 1% of the imported fish and as such does not have an accurate grasp on how dangerous it is. Chemicals make their way to rivers, lakes, and ultimately any body of water. This occurs more often overseas where their regulation is not as strict as ours. The chemicals taint the flesh of the fish which causes the fish to become toxic.
This problem gets even worse as we move up the fishy food chain. Big fish eat smaller ones, even bigger fish eat the big ones, and they are all ingesting tainted fish. Some of the most affected fish at the top of the food chain are: sea bass, barracuda, amberjack, surgeonfish, and the red snapper. Any fish can be toxic however; the level of toxicity is the only difference.
More to Fear
Not only toxic chemicals contaminate the flesh of the fish. Bacteria and heavy metals are also all over the fish we catch, order, and eat every day. Some of the metals that have contaminated our fish supply are: lead, chromium, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic.
According to fishinghurts.com’s health concern page, sea food is not only the number one cause of food borne illnesses in the United States, but can also contribute to kidney damage, nervous system damage, and in some rare and serious cases death.
This is the most common type of food borne illness in relationship to fish. This illness is found in the more predatory fish that not only have affected skin from possible water toxins, bacteria, or metals, but have also ingested smaller fish contaminated by them. You will not notice a difference in the taste of a contaminated fish and an uncontaminated one. Cooking and seasoning removes any difference in flavor. The symptoms come in a wide range of: upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, pain of limbs, and hot and cold sweats.
An article written June 7th, 2010 on economyincrisis.com stated that in Alabama alone approximately 55% of the seafood imported that gets inspected is rejected because it poses a risk to safety. There is an estimated 76million Americans that get a food borne illness each year. Approximately 5,000 will not survive the illness, of that 625 deaths will be from fish food borne illnesses.
Economy in Crisis