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November 7, 2014

Thailand

Daniel Gruenberg on Mislabeling

 

Oceana recently published a sensationalist and misleading report about the mislabeling of shrimp in the USA marketplace.

 

What the shrimp farming industry repeatedly fails to do is promote its sustainable practices and to inform consumers of the incredibly destructive nature of shrimp trawling.

 

Because the USA fishing industry in Alaska has been historically anti-aquaculture and because its well-funded lobby has successfully promoted “wild caught” as a brand, many USA consumers consider wild-caught fishery products to be superior to farmed products.

 

Popular mass media pieces often cite farmed shrimp as “full of dangerous and banned chemicals”.  Since I came to Thailand to work on an organic project, however, I cannot remember one container of Thai shrimp ever being banned from any country for antibiotic contamination.  India and Vietnam have but not Thailand.

 

Thailand has a requirement that a one-kilogram sample from each pond must be send to a government lab and tested for residual antibiotics.  The results of these tests must accompany the product through processing and export.   In the decade that I’ve been in Thailand, I have never seen an abuse of this system.

 

So what we have here is a failure to promote our sustainability and food safety practices, while simultaneously failing to inform the public of the massive destruction resulting from shrimp trawling.

 

The shrimp farming industry remains too segmented and disorganized to challenge the well-organized and well-funded USA lobbies such as the Southern Shrimp Alliance (which should be named the Southern Lawyers Alliance for raping and pillaging shrimp exporters with dumping duties) and Oceana and its sensationalist crap.

 

Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers).  Subject: The Real Danger Is Trawling.  November 6, 2014.

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