Something fishy about the food, says Pakistani daily

Islamabad, April 30: A Pakistani daily has questioned the quality and safety of the food in the country after fish in Karachi were “said to be heavily tainted with mercury and other poisonous substances”.

An editorial in the the News International Monday said: “Fishermen in Karachi report the dying of sea life in waters off the shore because of the waste that is poured into the sea.”

“The fish brought out from these waters are said to be heavily tainted with mercury and other poisonous substances. The same holds true for river fish in other parts of the country – given that effluents are frequently dumped into most of our waterways,” it said.

The daily noted that the problem goes far beyond “only water life”.

“There is growing concern over the safety of poultry meat and over the steroids used to raise the widely consumed broiler chickens. We do not know for sure what feed and what medications larger meat-producing animals are given,” it added.

“As for vegetables the use of pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals that leach into soil means that each time we consume a carrot or a beetroot we may be ingesting substances that can cause great harm over time,” said the editorial.

It wondered: “So is anything safe to eat?”

“…Not much is heard about any set of regulations for the food industry. Thus the greed for quick profit enjoys free rein in the absence of action by the authorities and of consumer activism. This is a dangerous state of affairs and one that needs to be rectified,” it said.