Tiempo atrás, estimaba al manejo de la sanidad en todos sus aspectos, como uno de los puntos débiles chilenos. Tanto la aparición del brote, como la atención que parece despertar, ponen el acento sobre ese aspecto desatendido en sus estrategias de administración y desarrollo. En mi caso se trata de impresiones personales, recibidas en los años en que viví allí, en distintos aspectos de las actividades productivas. Trabajé en el área de retail, donde los grandes competidores tienen políticas claras de manejo de la sanidad, pero una vez que se sale de las grandes corporaciones, existe un problema. Existe un volúmen importante de pequeños productores que carecen de elementos y prácticas sanitarias, y los controles oficiales son casi inexistentes en un gran número de casos. Así lo puedo atestiguar, por ejemplo, del manejo de la pesca de mar en la zona de Coquimbo, desde la barca hasta la puerta de casa del consumidor.
Qué dice hoy NYT:
A virus called infectious salmon anemia, or I.S.A., is killing millions of salmon destined for export to Japan, Europe and the United States. The spreading plague has sent shivers through Chile’s third-largest export industry, which has left local people embittered by laying off more than 1,000 workers.La salud pública (y no sólo la sanidad animal y vegetal), una tarea pendiente...
It has also opened the companies to fresh charges from biologists and environmentalists who say that the breeding of salmon in crowded underwater pens is contaminating once-pristine waters and producing potentially unhealthy fish.
(...)“All these problems are related to an underlying lack of sanitary controls,” said Dr. Felipe C. Cabello, a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at New York Medical College in Valhalla that has studied Chile’s fishing industry. “Parasitic infections, viral infections, fungal infections are all disseminated when the fish are stressed and the centers are too close together.”
Industry executives acknowledge some of the problems, but they reject the notion that their practices are unsafe for consumers. American officials also say the new virus is not harmful to humans.
(...) But the latest outbreak has occurred after a rash of nonviral illnesses in recent years that the companies acknowledge have led them to use high levels of antibiotics. Researchers say the practice is widespread in the Chilean industry, which is a mix of international and Chilean producers. Some of those antibiotics, they say, are prohibited for use on animals in the United States.
(...) Many of those salmon still end up in American grocery stores, where about 29 percent of Chilean exports are destined. While fish from China have come under special scrutiny in recent months, here in Chile regulators have yet to form a registry that even tracks the use of the drugs, researchers said.
(...)Residual antibiotics have been detected in Chilean salmon that have been exported to the United States, Canada and Europe, Dr. Cabello said.
He estimated that 70 to 300 times more antibiotics are used by salmon producers in Chile to produce a ton of salmon than in Norway. But no hard data exist to corroborate the estimates, he said, “because there is almost an underground market of antibiotics in Chile for salmon aquaculture.”
(...) Researchers say that some antibiotics that are not allowed in American aquaculture, like flumequine and oxolinic acid, are legal in Chile and may increase antibiotic resistance for people. Last June the United States Food and Drug Administration blocked the sale of five types of Chinese seafood because of the use of fluoroquinolones and other additives.