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The American seafood industry is being flooded with products imported from developing countries, much of which have proven to be contaminated with banned chemicals, poisons, carcinogens and high levels of antibiotics,
But, the FDA’s lack of regulation of food imports is no surprise given how understaffed and underfunded the agency is. In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees 80 percent of the nation’s food supply, estimated that it would conduct border inspections of just 0.6 percent of the food it is supposed to regulate. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, another agency charged with supervising food safety, conducted inspections on roughly 11 percent of imported foods in 2007.
It is no wonder then that the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that every year 76 million Americans are afflicted by food poisoning. Of those, an estimated 5,000 will die each year. The Trust for America’s Health found that foodborne illnesses caused by major pathogens cost $44 billion annually in medical care and lost productivity.