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  • 90% of Shrimp is from toxic sewage ponds in Asia

    Sichuan Style Shrimp

    Sichuan Style Shrimp Creative Commons License photo credit: FotoosVanRobin

    by Vic Shayne, PhD

    When I was a kid, I loved shrimp. Being from Miami, shrimp was huge and plentiful. Then after a time it became scarce and expensive. Now it’s cheap. No surprise.

    I was driving to my office today when I heard an interview on NPR with author/researcher Barry Estabrook. He had some information that made me pull over and jot them down. One of the things he said was that ninety (90) percent of all shrimp comes from Asia and is raised in a toxic sewage pond environment. The water is so contaminated and diseased that the farmers use outrageous amounts of antibiotics.

    So when you eat shrimp, not only are you eating sewage, but you’re also consuming drugs — many of which are illegal in the western world — dipped in cocktail sauce or fried on the barby. Shrimp today is a dangerous food. You have to know the source to avoid the disgusting consequences. Ocean caught off clean waters near the U.S., is a better choice.

    Writer Craig Weatherby, who has reported on the toxic shrimp problem, said, “… according to a new independent report, the Chinese aquaculture industry crams fish and shellfish into facilities to maximize production, generating large amounts of waste, contaminating water and spreading disease (Food & Water Watch 2007).” Weatherby said, “China’s seafood farmers try to control the spread of infections, disease, and parasites by pumping the animals’ feed with antibiotics and filling the waters with pesticides and fungicides.”

    The problem isn’t only China, it’s a lot of Asia, including Indonesia and Thailand in specific, where you can find purveyors of toxic shrimp and other seafood.

    Shrimp industry destroys the environment

    And another problem: a great deal of the shrimp is grown in mangrove swamps which are habitats that become destroyed from the toxic industry.

    Greenpeace reports: “Over the last few decades shrimp farming has been a relentless destroyer of huge expanses of tropical coastlines, particularly mangrove forests. Mangrove forest roots are bulldozed into the mud to make way for the intruding shrimp farms. The coastal equivalent of terrestrial rain forests, mangroves are home to an incredibly diverse range of life. They are breeding grounds and nurseries for many fish, shellfish and other wildlife. Shrimp farming turns them into a barren and toxic prawn cocktail.”

    Add drugs to the mix. Greenpeace writes, “To grow asmany shrimp as possible and maintain overcrowded populations, largeamounts of artificial feed and chemical additives, including chlorine,are added to this destructive cocktail. Malathion, parathion, paraquatand other virulent pesticides are also sprayed on the pools.”

    “With millions of shrimp crammed together in ponds, diseases can run rampant, in some cases severely enough to kill off entire ponds and even a country‚ entire shrimp industry. On average, an intensive shrimp operation only lasts for seven years before the level of pollution and pathogens within the pond reaches a point where shrimp can no longer survive,” reports Food and Water Watch, a consumer advocacy group.

    What’s this mean to your health?

    Food and Water Watch reports, “The negative effects of eating industrially produced shrimp may include neurological damage from ingesting chemicals such as endosulfans, an allergic response to penicillin residues or infection by an antibiotic-resistant pathogen such as E. coli.”

    It gets worse

    Shrimp is a really bad food to eat. You don’t realize you’re biting into antibiotics, bacteria, poisons and other toxins when you sit down to eat. This is a very extensive problem that involves not only the quality of the food, but also poses a tremendous short and long-term health risk. You can read more by clicking here.

    The consumer watchdog group, Public Citizen reports, “The story of farmed shrimp is also one that health conscious consumers should want to hear because if they knew more about what might be lurking in the flesh of farmed shrimp, they might think twice about eating too much of it, or about eating any at all.  ”


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