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Drug-Resistant Superbugs Traced to Asian Seafood, Studies Report

March 6, 2017 -- Chinese overuse of the human antibiotic of last resort colistin in feeds for fish raised for export has led to the development and spread worldwide of drug resistant bacteria, several recent studies report. Worse still, the colistin-resistant bacteria have, in turn, produced a transferable gene first discovered in China that can spread drug resistance to other organisms, according to America's Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Now, these drug-resistant genes have been found in bacteria living within humans in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Each year, about 700,000 people worldwide die from antibiotic-resistant infections, and that number is expected to soar well into the tens of millions in coming years.

In short, the Chinese aquaculture industry has "transformed what had been a hypothetical menace into a clear and present one: superbugs that are highly resistant to antibiotics," says Bloomberg Businessweek in a recent investigative report. Canadian researchers first discovered that Chinese seafood exports -- rather than the human travelers from China first suspected -- are the vectors spreading dangerous drug-resistant bacteria across the globe.

China produces about 60 percent of the world's farm-raised seafood and exports more to the U.S. than any other nation. China is our largest supplier of tilapia and a major source of catfish and shrimp imports. For more than a decade, the FDA has been routinely finding antibiotic-laden seafood imports from China and other Asian countries, which widely use Chinese feeds and aquaculture techniques. "Antibiotic-contaminated seafood keeps turning up at U.S. ports, as well as in restaurants and grocery stores," Bloomberg Businessweek concludes.

U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is a safe, delicious 100-percent American-produced and processed alternative to imported seafood. For more information about U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish, visit UScatfish.com.

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America’s Catch plans Production Expansion

November 23, 2015 -- Itta Bena – America’s Catch has always operated with one goal in mind: to supply their customers the best U.S. farm raised catfish available on the market. Continuing to deliver on that commitment, the company announced an ambitious plan for expanding its operations at its Itta Bena, MS plant.

Beginning in mid-December 2015, the company will break ground on a nearly 6,000 square feet addition to its production facility. The project should take from 3-6 months to complete and will incorporate new state-of-the-art technology in streamlining the production process. This expansion will provide the additional space needed to meet the growing demand for fresh processing as well as give the company the ability to accommodate the numerous customer requests for further processed and value-added offerings.

Look for more announcements about this project in the near future.

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America’s Catch, Inc. Wins Coveted Ben E. Keith Center of the Plate Award

(Fort Worth)---America’s Catch, Inc. was named winner of the prestigious and coveted Ben E. Keith Foods 2015 Center of the Plate category award at Ben E. Keith’s 32nd Annual Supplier Appreciation Dinner held at the Ridglea Country Club. Bobby Giachelli, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for America’s Catch accepted the award from Ben E. Keith Foods Director of Center of the Plate, Randy Tollison, at the special event on October 5.

America’s Catch was the only US farm raised catfish supplier and one of only two protein suppliers selected from hundreds of suppliers nationwide. “This recognition further emphasizes the America’s Catch commitment to the needs of our customers. We strive daily to meet and exceed the expectations of every customer, Ben E. Keith included,” said Giachelli.

Ben E. Keith, the nation’s eighth largest broadline foodservice distributor, chose nine winners in six categories from among its top suppliers. Eligible suppliers were qualified by a scorecard of their past year’s performance, and winners were chosen by divisional and corporate management.

Pictured: Bobby Giachelli, VP of Sale and Marketing (Right) and Paul Heinrich of Encore Foods Solutions (Middle) receiving the Ben E. Keith Foods 2015 Center of the Plate Award from Randy Tollison, Director of Center of the Plate, Ben E. Keith Foods General Office (Left).

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Eating Fish May Prevent Hearing Loss in Women

September 26, 2014 -- Eating two servings of fish each week may prevent hearing loss in women, according to new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston. The BWH study of 65,000 women over eight years found that those who regularly ate fish were 20 percent less likely to experience the potentially disabling effects of hearing loss than women who rarely ate fish.

"Consumption of any type of fish tended to be associated with lower risk," explained Sharon G. Curhan, MD, who led the study. "These findings suggest that diet may be important in the prevention of acquired hearing loss."

Low in mercury, sustainable and environmentally friendly, U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish from America’s Catch is a delicious product that provides the many health benefits associated with regularly eating fish. Because seafood imports can contain potentially hazardous additives and/or pollutants, consumers should always look for the country of origin and choose U.S. grown or sourced fish. For more information about U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish, visit UScatfish.com.

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As Horrors Continue, Food Safety is Chinese People's Biggest Worry

August 12, 2015 -- More than three-quarters (77.3 percent) of Chinese said food safety is the biggest threat to their quality of life, according to this year's annual survey of public attitudes by the government-owned China Youth Daily. Although the survey was conducted in March 2015, the results were only recently released to English-speaking media outlets.

"In over a decade of unnerving food scandals, the Chinese people have seen almost every form of poisonous or fake product, from rice contaminated with cadmium to restaurant dishes drenched in sewer oil to salmonella-tainted tilapia fish," explained The Epoch Times, an independent newspaper.

China is the largest supplier of farm-raised tilapia to the United States and a major supplier of other farmed seafood, including catfish. Earlier this year, North Carolina researchers found frozen Chinese tilapia and Vietnamese pangasius (a catfish-like species also sold as basa, tra and swai) tainted with the carcinogen formaldehyde for sale in mainstream U.S. supermarkets.

The FDA inspects about 2 percent of food imports, but only two-tenths of one-percent is subjected to laboratory testing. Food safety groups worry that the Trans Pacific Partnership, a 40 nation free trade treaty now being negotiated, will expose Americans to more unsafe Asian seafood.

Consumers should always check the country of origin of seafood they purchase. U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is a reliably wholesome, healthy American grown and processed alternative to potentially dangerous imported seafood. For more information about U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish, visit UScatfish.com.

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Formaldehyde Found in Vietnamese Swai and Chinese Tilapia on Sale in U.S. Supermarkets

Aug 12, 2015 Testing by an NBC affiliated consumer reporter and a North Carolina laboratory found unnaturally high amounts of formaldehyde in four of 15 samples of imported frozen white fish species purchased in national food retail store branches in Greensboro, NC, according to NBC-TV Charlotte. Formaldehyde-laced Vietnamese swai (a catfish-like species also known as pangasius, basa and tra) was found in three stores. Formaldehyde-tainted Chinese tilapia was also found in three stores.

Following the initial findings, the FDA was alerted. It conducted blind testing of fish found in supermarkets nationwide and found similar results. The FDA, responsible for imported seafood safety in the U.S., does not routinely test for formaldehyde, so there’s no limit on how much of the toxic chemical can be added to fish, NBC Charlotte reported.

“Some fish have small amounts of formaldehyde naturally,” explained consumer reporter Benjamin Briscoe. But, the lab — North Carolina-based Appealing Products, which developed food poison detection kits for the Department of Defense — says natural levels are so low they would not show up on the test. “Turns out, manufacturers in other countries sometimes add formaldehyde to make the fish last longer.”

The recent testing, first reported in April of this year, followed findings in September 2013 of unnatural formaldehyde amounts in frozen seafood imports from Vietnam and China on sale at mainstream food outlets in Raleigh, NC.

Vietnam is the largest supplier of the catfish-like species pangasius (basa, tra and swai) to the U.S., while China is the largest supplier of tilapia.

Consumers should always check the country of origin of seafood they purchase. U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is a reliably wholesome, healthy American grown and processed alternative to potentially dangerous imported seafood.