Tian­jin fish farms found to use banned car­cino­gen

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By TANG YUE tangyue@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Some un­li­censed fish farm­ers in the Tian­jin Bin­hai New Area have been us­ing a banned sub­stance to raise fish, Bei­jing News re­ported.

The fish farm­ers reached by the news­pa­per were us­ing var­i­ous an­tibi­otics and or­ganic chem­i­cals, in­clud­ing mala­chite green, an in­dus­try dye that can cure sev­eral fish dis­eases, but is a po­ten­tial car­cino­gen for peo­ple.

Once widely used na­tion­wide, the sub­stance was banned in aqua­cul­ture in 2002.

Ac­cord­ing to lo­cal reg­u­la­tions, the fish farm­ers have to be li­censed, while the prod­ucts need to pass in­spec­tion and be cer­ti­fied be­fore com­ing to mar­ket.

How­ever, the farm­ers in­ter­viewed were not li­censed, and their fish have never been tested, ac­cord­ing to Tues­day’s re­port.

“We never eat the fish in our pond,” a farmer, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, was quoted as say­ing by the news­pa­per.

Zhong Kai, a re­searcher with China Na­tional Cen­ter for Food Safety Risk As­sess­ment, said the amount of the banned sub­stance found in pre­vi­ous cases did not pose a can­cer risk to peo­ple.

He said the con­cen­tra­tion of mala­chite green would have to be 400 mi­cro­grams per kilo­gram over an ex­tended pe­riod of time for it to be harm­ful. How­ever, the con­cen­tra­tion was be­low 50 mcg per kg in most pre­vi­ous cases.

In 2006, tur­bot from Shan­dong province sold in a Shang­hai mar­ket tested pos­i­tive for mala­chite green and re­sulted in 50 mil­lion tur­bot in Shan­dong go­ing un­sold.

Zhou Zhuocheng, a se­nior mem­ber of the China Fish­eries As­so­ci­a­tion, said the use of the banned sub­stance has been ris­ing in the past fewyears and is used in tur­bot, wee­ver and man­darin fish more than other species.

The China Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced on Mon­day that it would launch a spe­cial in­spec­tion on food production in ru­ral ar­eas na­tion­wide, in­clud­ing “the abuse of an­tibi­otics and vet­eri­nary drugs”.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion also an­nounced on Nov 17 that it would launch a spe­cial in­spec­tion into seafood in 10 cities across the coun­try.

Fol­low­ing the move, many su­per­mar­kets in Bei­jing stopped sell­ing live fresh­wa­ter fish for a few­days, re­port­edly in a bid to avoid ex­am­i­na­tion.

The ab­sence of live fresh­wa­ter fish in Bei­jing re­ceived wide at­ten­tion from the pub­lic and gave rise to spec­u­la­tion that wa­ter near the cap­i­tal had been pol­luted.

This year, more than 96 per­cent of all fish prod­ucts in Bei­jing passed qual­ity tests.

We never eat the fish in our pond.” A fish farmer in the Tian­jin Bin­hai New Area of all fish prod­ucts in Bei­jing passed qual­ity tests this year.

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