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Seeking and hiding of fish not a game

China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-28 08:13

Seeking and hiding of fish not a game

The suspension of live fish sales at Beijing supermarkets.[Photo/IC]

On Wednesday, many Beijing residents found that there were no live freshwater fish on sale in supermarkets. The China Food and Drug Administration later said this was because somebody had leaked the information that they were planning an inspection to check for antibiotics and veterinary drugs in the fresh fish sold in supermarkets. Huashang Daily comments:

What measures would you take if you were selling products you knew the authorities planned to check for safety?

The best way is to make sure all your products are of good quality and can pass any inspection. However, the supermarkets in Beijing chose otherwise. And by withdrawing all their fresh fish from sale, they showed they wanted to avoid any inspection.

That has naturally caused people to doubt the fish they sell. According to the food and drug administration, they did not notify the supermarkets there would be an inspection, when the supermarkets got wind of it there was little time for them to prepare. So in order to escape the inspection, they withdrew all their fresh fish.

Ironically, when the supermarkets have been notified in advance, the fish have always passed the inspections. In 2016, 96.62 percent of all fish products in Beijing passed inspections; in 2015, 95.94 percent passed inspections that the supermarkets had been informed of in advance. However, the supermarkets that sell "good" fish products dare not let their products be inspected without getting any pre-notice.

Those in places other than Beijing should not think the problem is just the capital's, the use of antibiotics and veterinary drugs in fish farms is quite rampant nationwide.

The scandal of fresh fish disappearing from supermarkets in Beijing is not over yet, because people's concerns about the safety of the fish they eat have not been answered. The CFDA needs to launch more unannounced inspections in the future so there is a clearer picture of the safety of fresh fish products in Beijing.

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