Currently, there are more rules, regulations, and restrictions than ever placed on the importation of fruits and vegetables because of the dangers of foreign un-regulated use of dangerous pesticides which are prohibited in America. However, the threat to the health of American consumers does not end there because of the existence of dangerous and infectious viruses and bacterial contamination that is regularly found on imported fruits and vegetables. These dangers can also exist in canned fruits and vegetables. Additionally, some fruits and vegetables have been genetically modified to increase production changing the plant entirely. There is also the danger of non-native which could become invasive plants being introduced into the U.S.
Our Government at work?
It is shameful to say that the Food and Drug Administration is falling down on the job, however, it has seen fit over the last 4 decades to have decreased their inspections of foreign imports of fruits and vegetables drastically to the point that an incidence of discovery of contaminated fruits or vegetables is to the point of being almost non-existent. Even though there has been documented reports of contamination and resultant sickness and/or death resulting from the aforementioned infractions of our laws, it mostly remains undetected and/or unreported due to government laxity.
A Look Into The Future
It could take decades for the effects of the introduction of non-native plants and even insects on America’s ecosystems to be felt. The dangers of (GMO) genetically modified organism on the human body and nature itself cannot be predicted.
Some examples of invasive species are the Mimosa tree, the Royal Empress Tree, and Kudzu. The Mimosa tree was imported from Japan as a decorative specimen to enhance the landscape of homes. It has now spread throughout most of the entire US as an invasive. uncontrollable tree. The same can be said for the Royal Empress tree. As for Kudzu, it contains a high percentage of protein and was believed to be the answer to an inexpensive cattle fee but testing to prove it as such was not undertaken prior to its importation and once it was planted into the Southern US, it has overtaken and choked out thousands of acres of indigenous species and to the dismay of cattlemen, cows won’t eat it.
In addition to invasive species of plants being introduced, Americans have suffered sickness and/or death from fruits and vegetables infected with Hepatitis, Ebola, and influenza. A Hepatitis outbreak in 2003 caused by infected onions imported from Mexico resulted in more than 600 cases, not only from home use of the onions, but also them having been served in restaurants.
Wheat gluten exported from China contaminated with the chemical melamine caused the massive pet food recall that killed or sickened hundreds of dogs throughout the U.S. The pet food contamination was felt by more than 100 brand names who had used that product in their dog foods. Additionally, millions of chickens were fed the same food as a grow out supplement and then were slaughtered and sold to restaurants. Then again a problem with products from China as the manure sold in America often contains fish emulsion (fish guts and parts ground up into a paste or dry product) is often an ingredient in fertilizers used for fruits and vegetables in American gardens. The import was halted because the U.S. found that the fish had been raised with chemically contaminated fish feed.
Again we revisit imports from Mexico as in 2001, an outbreak of salmonella in the U.S. was linked to cantaloupes imported from Mexico. Two or more people died and more than 25 other individuals became sick in an area which covered 15 states.
Americans use fertilizers in their orchards and gardens which contain manure from chickens, turkeys, fish emulsion, and cow manure. Whatever was present in the aforementioned animals whether it be harmful chemicals, antibiotics, GMO products, growth hormones, or any other pathogens will be passed on through the manure of these animals directly into the soil and any plants grown in that soil that produce soil bound vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and onions just to mention a few, are susceptible to absorption of any harmful chemicals from the soil.
Aquaponics is the Solutions
If you must purchase fruits and vegetables in the store, purchase only locally, organically grown products and always wash them thoroughly before preparing them. If you have the space to do so, Aquaponics is the answer to most of these problems so you can grow your own food. With Aquaponics, you control what goes into and onto your plants and consequently into the fruits and veggies you and your family eat. Even a small Aquaponics system can grow a multitude of vegetables and fish in a chemical-free environment for you and your family.
“STAY AWAY FROM IMPORTS OF ALL KINDS”