The past week has seen the rumbling on of a furor in Chinese media following reporters from Xin Jing Bao, a daily newspaper in Beijing, published controversial comments from fish farmers in Tianjin.

The farmers, from the Tangu coastal region of Tianjin – a port city and a 90-minute drive from Beijing – conceded to the newspaper that they do not consume their own products due to frequent use of antibiotics and antimicrobials like malachite green to clean water.

The issue is an embarrassment to the government, as such rogue operators were to be eliminated by a government licensing requirement that demanded full farmer participation by the end of 2015.

The episode is a “stab in the heart” for consumers but is “not new,” according to Kong Fun Xing at Tongji University in Shanghai, an expert in food safety in China.


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