It’s not exactly news that Asian prawns are, in many cases, far from healthily and sustainably raised.
But the Daily Mail has released an epic corker of a story filled with firsthand observations of terrible conditions at prawn farms in southern Vietnam. It’s fascinating reading, but it may put you off your seafood for some time to come. A brief sample of the analysis of prawn-farming chemicals at a typical farm:
The most dubious thing we found in the Huong’s arsenal of chemicals was in a pot named ‘N300’—a ‘medicine for digestion and liver function’, made by a Vietnamese company called Cong Ty TNHH. It contained beta glucan, a harmless component of many human nutrition supplements, but also norfloxacin, an antibiotic usually used to treat gonorrhea and urinary tract infections in humans. It is ‘under watch’ by the US Federal Drug Administration because of increased reports of nasty side effects, including damage to tendons.
If you’ve got an iron stomach, there’s a lot more where that came from.