There are multiple companies in Vietnam that are injecting substances into shrimps in order to increase their sells. This gelatin type of substance is sometimes referred to as CMC, but so far no one knows exactly what that means or what it is made from.
Vietnam is one of the top 5 exporters of shrimps, and one of the members of the TPP aka Trans-Pacific Partnership. This means if the TPP becomes law, we will not be able to stop this practice and companies can (or will) sue anytime their abilities to make profits is prohibited. Not even the Supreme Court will be able to do anything to stop this as they will lose out to an ISDS Court (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) of 3 corporate lawyers that will decide financial payments to corporations.
With this practice, companies can increase the weight of shrimps from 1kg to 1.15-1.2kg meaning they will be able to charge more per weight bringing in more profits.
It is uncertain how safe this substance is. Some claim they use a type of “edible gelatin” which is safe since it’s extracted from animal bones and skins. But even if they claim this, they maybe instead using a Industrial Gelatin substance which is cheaper and is used in print and in the funiture industry. This kind of gelatin contains heavy metals like mercury and lead and these metals can damage the blood and liver. They are even carcinogenic! Even if the company is using the edible version, the injection process itself is asepic and extremely dangerous.
In China, they frown upon this practice. Going as far as banning these illegal practices and arresting some of the sellers. But they do lack in the will to aggressively solve the problem. This has been an ongoing practice and issue in China for over 10 years.
We, here in the US, import huge quantities of these shrimps and not all are able to be inspected via FDA as they lack the manpower to achieve this. The governments continue to claim that this dangerous practice is under control. (If you can believe anything the governments say)
Bottom line is… If the product you buy looks too plump and too good to be true, it’s probably pumped full of unsafe gelatin.
Consume at your own risk.
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