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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

The following information is from the FoodSentry.org on April 17, 2013.

Pesticides and aduteration in foods from China. Food Sentry had analyzed nearly 1,000 reported food violation incidents in 73 countries. They found that China had the most violations of any single country. Produce was most likely to be contaminated with pesticides while seafood was most likely to be contaminated with antibiotics. "32 distinct pesticides found in Chinese foods, mostly in produce, fruit and spices. In one instance, a cumin sample had six different pesticides (acetamiprid, carbendazim, profenofos, cypermethrin, hexaconazole and Ethion) detected at violative concentrations in laboratory testing." Some of the issues found are the following:

  • "Antibiotics were a particular problem with seafood from China. We found multiple instances of leuco-malachite green (a metabolite of malachite green), enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin (fluoroquinolone drugs), and sulfamethoxazole (a sulfonamide drug) contamination." "Leuco-malachite green/malachite green have been banned in aquaculture by the FDA since 1983 due to serious toxicity, so their continued use in Chinese aquaculture is cause for concern. It is actually a dye used in the clothing industry, but it has anti-bacterial properties that are effective for use in fish farming. In this case we found it reported as a contaminant in tilapia, grouper, mackerel, carp and crabs." The FDA inspects only 2 percent of all food imports and tests much less than 1 percent, there‚Äôs a good chance that some contaminated tilapia is getting through.
  • Escherichia coli, Clostridium botulinum and unspecified coliform bacteria being reported multiple times.
  • Mycotoxins from poisonous molds were present, mainly in seeds, oils, dairy and rice. Economically Motivated Adulteration (EMA) continues to be an issue in China.
  • Seafood has water added to increase its weight. The fish is soaked in sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP), which at high concentrations can be toxic. Israeli Video showing water addition in a the Chinese fish processing plant.
Food Sentry has found that very little of the total import amount is actually inspected and tested, and the results from foreign laboratories that do test demonstrate some persistent level of contamination across a range of products.

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