Debunking Myths on the "Pangas" Fish
The story, "Don’t Eat this fish: Pangas" circulated since 30 January 2008, is a gross distortion of facts. It is not true that Vietnamese catfish available in international markets contain high levels of "poisons and bacteria", injected with hormone or frozen in contaminated water. Vietnamese catfish are widely sold internationally under different names in different countries, eg "Basa" in USA, "Pangas" in France and "Sutchi" in Singapore. AVA's tests on sutchi fillets have found them safe for human consumption. There has been no report of any illness from consuming this fish. The only problem we have encountered is excessive water added. Vietnamese factories tend to add too much water in the fish. This results in the heavy loss of weight after cooking. To protect consumers’ interest, AVA requires sutchi fillet marketed in Singapore to carry a label stating the net weight (ie the weight of the fish excluding added water).