Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Buy American To Eat Safe

I am often asked if I do my own grocery shopping, and the answer is definitely yes. I want to know that the foods I buy are fresh and I especially want to know where they are coming from. The United States used to be known as the world's bread basket, and surely nothing is so important as a country's ability to feed its own people. I was shocked to discover that the United States became a net food importer in 2005, and now imports $65 billion worth of food every year. Even more shocking is that the vast majority of this imported food is not examined or tested. The Food and Drug Administration estimates that it conducts border inspections on only half of 1 percent of vegetables, fruits, grains, and dairy at the border. The seafood consumed by Americans is 84% imported, and the FDA inspects less than 2% of imported seafood.

The importation of shrimp from Asia has destroyed most of our own shrimp industry on the Gulf coast. The worst part of this is that Chinese shrimp is grown in sewage and that is disguised by adding antibiotics and herbicides that are banned in the United States. According to a statement of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, "this process reflects an intentional decision by the Chinese." The use of these harmful chemicals is the result of China's "calculation to reduce the costs of producing aquaculture shrimp at the risk of the health and safety of American consumers."

Much of the Chinese seafood is now shipped from China's plants in Vietnam and Malaysia. The FDA has already detained many shipments of Vietnamese seafood because of E.coli, antibiotic residues, and other serious safety concerns. When you buy fish, look for the sign showing where the fish comes from.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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