– Today’s Seafood Special: Pig Manure, Antibiotics, and Diarrhea Bugs (Mother Jones):
Next time you tuck into a Red Lobster “Endless Shrimp” special or score some $7-per-pound salmon at a supermarket, consider this: You’re very likely eating imported seafood raised on a factory-style farm in Asia—and it almost certainly was never inspected by the Food and Drug Administration on its way into the country and onto your plate.
Is that…safe? Big retailers like Walmart and restaurant chains like Darden (owner of Red Lobster) say yes, in part because some of the seafood they buy bears the Best Aquaculture Practices label. Who issues that label? The Global Aquaculture Alliance, an industry endeavor—its board consists of representatives from (you guessed it) Darden, as well as Cargill, the Chilean salmon industry, and a large farmed-shrimp importer called Eastern Fish Company. Not surprisingly, BAP standards for farmed fish placed near the bottom (16 of 20) in a 2012 ranking of aquaculture labels by the University of Victoria’s Seafood Ecology Research Group. (Darden says it independently tests its shrimp for contaminants but declined to share its results; Walmart did not answer our questions about inspections.)