One out of four Americans experiences a foodborne illness each year. Of those, 325,000 people are hospitalized and 5,000 die. Seafood products cause approximately 18 to 20 percent of the known outbreaks of food borne illnesses each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Today, Americans eat nearly 16 pounds of seafood per person per year — almost 30 percent more seafood per person than they ate 25 years ago.
More people eating more seafood yielded a 70 percent — or two billion pound — increase in overall seafood consumption. That equals the weight of about 270,000 Hummer H2 sport utility vehicles.
But Americans are largely unaware of the health concerns associated with imported seafood, more and more of which is produced on industrial style farms. The crowded, unsanitary conditions on these industrial fish farms breed bacteria, viruses, and parasites, forcing producers to use antibiotics and chemicals to prevent disease outbreaks.
Food & Water Watch is working to ensure Americans have safe seafood by encouraging the U.S. government to inspect food imports and to ensure consumers know where their seafood originates.