Is the Imported Fish On Your Plate Safe? It’s Nearly Impossible To Know
It Has Been Making Some of Us Very Sick For the Following Reasons:
Over 80 percent of our seafood is now imported, and most of it enters our country unchecked. The FDA only inspects about 2 percent of the food that enters this country, leaving us vulnerable to toxic or disease-ridden fish. The few states that do inspect their imports have found that 40-50 percent of the fish brought in are unfit for human consumption. In the states that don’t rigorously inspect their imports, those same contaminated or rotten fish are making their way to supermarkets and restaurants, ready for the dinner table.
Could you be eating this toxic, disease-ridden fish without even knowing it?
Fish, when safe, is one of the healthiest things you can eat. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to know where your fish is coming from, leaving us vulnerable to much unchecked toxic fish that comes into this country. There have been an increasing number of reports of restaurants and grocery stores substituting cheaper or more readily available fish without informing their customers. But even the most reputable and well-intentioned merchants may have trouble providing safe fish, as the problem starts at our border.
Importers are making huge sums of money by bringing in these cheap, low-quality or toxic fish. They must do this, because if they don’t their competitors will import these fish instead and put them out of business. The same goes for the restaurants that buy and serve these fish. If they buy more expensive, safe fish, people will go elsewhere for the better prices.
The main thing stopping us from inspecting more food is the lack of enough FDA inspectors. Unfortunately the government does not currently have the funds to pay for more inspectors. The federal government is stretched too thin as it is; we are already forced to borrow billions of dollars every year to meet our needs. But more inspectors do not have to be a burden on the taxpayer.
A strategically calculated and implemented tariff could provide the much-needed funds to hire more inspectors, while making it less advantageous to dump cheap, dangerous seafood in the United States. If an importer knows their shipment will be inspected and possibly rejected, it will provide a strong deterrent to attempt to pass less desirable seafood through our borders.
Tariffs have needlessly gotten a bad reputation in Washington, as “free traders” have pushed their misguided agenda. Tariffs are still one of the most useful tools we have, and there is no place they could better be implemented than on the food we bring into this country.
We MUST demand that our legislators enact these tariffs to pay for more inspections. This is necessary for the good of our health and the wellbeing of our whole country.