Uncover hard truths in the underbelly of Asia.
What’s the truth behind one of Asia’s cheapest and most consumed fish – the pangasius or “dory” fish? Is it a miracle super-fish ideal for the thrifty consumer, or a toxin-filled product that we should avoid?
The ubiquitous pangasius fish fills supermarket shelves and restaurant menus in Asia. Yet fifteen years ago, it was rarely seen. The heart of pangasius production lies in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, which supplies an expanding global market.
But in the last decade, there have been damaging stories circulating in Western media and online. Its critics claim that pangasius contains toxic and harmful chemicals, due to the “filthy” Mekong river and unregulated breeding and feeding by fish farmers.
Defenders of the fish point to these stories as evidence of protectionism, especially by the US catfish industry and barely-disguised racism against ‘dirty’ Asian practices. So is the pangasius potentially dangerous to consumers, or is it the victim of unfair vilification?