StarKist, once a unit of San Francisco-based Del Monte Foods, is now owned by South Korea’s Dongwon Industries. It was purchased by Dongwon two years ago for $363 million.
At the cannery inspection Nov. 2010, the FDA found “serious violations” involving StarKist’s seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plan and its production of low-acid canned foods. FDA said both the canned tuna and pouched packed tuna being produced by StarKist on American Samoa are “adulterated.”
Asked by Food Safety News about the warning letter, StarKist spokeswoman Mary Sestric said: “All StarKist products are safe and no product withdrawals are being initiated.”
Fisheries in China range from large commercial operations that are much more tightly run down to tens of thousands of small farmers with small ponds. Ditto for Vietnam on a smaller scale.
Some of those farmers have used more ‘economical’ methods of feeding their ponds – including feeding the fish waste from other livestock.
Given that situation, along with some highly publicized contamination incidents, the US FDA has just effectively brought the import of 5 specific types of farmed fish to a screeching halt (basa, catfish, shrimp, eel and dace).
But what about the rest?
Tilapia is a very popular fish in the US, and much of it is farm raised in China. Albertson’s recently had a 4-day special of 4 bags of frozen Tilapia for the price of one. Sure enough, the label stated: ‘farm raised’, and on the bottom in small print it said, ‘China ‘.
Green Giant vegetables are sourced from many countries including China. A shopper posted her examination of frozen vegetables she purchased and wrote:
“The first package was Birdseye Mixed Vegetables: Carrots, broccoli, baby potatoes, baby cob corn and red diced bell peppers. It said ‘Product of U.S.A., Mexico and Vietnam’.
The other was a Safeway Market brand: Sugar Snap Peas, whole Baby Carrots & whole Baby Cob corn. ‘Product of U.S.A.: Carrots; Product of China: Corn, S.S. Peas. Packaged in Canada’.”
China is far and away the world’s largest garlic producer. In fact, in any given year China produces between 75% and 80% of the world’s total garlic production. So far as the fields being fertilized with sewage. I choose to buy local, organic garlic.
NOTE: I believe we grow all those vegetables in the U.S. In fact I am growing many of them in my backyard. So ask yourself why these companies choose to source their produce from China.. thousands of miles away?
I love Trader Joe’s for some things.. but I have to say they are one of the worst for frozen veggies which are imported from three different continents.
So please read labels, if it’s not clear where your food is sourced from.. put the item back on the shelf and choose a local, organic brand that is less likely to be sourced from a foreign country.