Sunday, May 27, 2007

Holy effing shyte!

While I was in Seattle we started joking about how dangerous it is to eat food originating in China. It was dark humor, mind you, because it's starting to look more and more like this is not anywhere near a laughing matter.

Fish importer announces monkfish recall


WASHINGTON -- A frozen product labeled monkfish distributed in three states is being recalled after two Chicago area people became ill after eating it, the importer announced Thursday.

Hong Chang Corporation of Santa Fe Springs, Calif.,said it is recalling the product labeled as monkfish because it may contain tetrodotoxin, a potent toxin.

While the frozen fish imported from China was labeled monkfish, the company said it is concerned that it may be pufferfish because this toxin is usually associated with certain types of pufferfish.

Eating foods containing tetrodotoxin can result in life-threatening illness or death and the toxin cannot be destroyed by cooking or freezing.

(cont'd at link above)

Want an idea how bad tetrodotoxin is? Read Wade Davis' book The Serpent and the Rainbow. The book. Forget the movie. Well, don't forget it. The movie was fascinating and while it didn't follow the book, it was nevertheless a Wes Craven masterpiece. But the explanation of tetrodotoxin in the book is what I'm talking about here. Or, if you really can't bring yourself to read that book, look for the DVD of Anthony Bourdain's show "Cook's Tour" that used to air on the Food Network until Bourdain got wise and moved it to the Travel Channel. In one of the two episodes he filmed in Japan, he discusses the specialized preparation of pufferfish, and the number of deaths annually even in Japan where the chefs are specially trained.

So now we've got toxic pet foods, toxic fish, who knows what else? I wonder if the Chinese got the idea from Tommy Thompson. You remember what he said, right?

"I, for the life of me, cannot understand why the terrorists have not,you know, attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do,"

Trust a Repuglican to think up something like this.

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