7/25/2006

WHEN A FROG IS A FISH

by Janet A. Ginsburg

So much for Linnaeus. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), frogs (amphibians), alligators (reptiles) and turtles (also reptiles) are actually fish.* At least they are if you intend to eat them.

I stumbled onto this reclassification-by-decree a couple of years ago while working on a story about frogs in live animal markets.

Kermit wasn't kidding -- it really isn’t easy being green. Global warming has wrecked frog habitat. Pollution clogs their pores. A parasite makes them grow too many legs, or not enough legs, or legs in places where you least expect them. And now a fungus called chytrid is killing them off by the millions.

Frog populations are crashing all over the world, with a few notable exceptions, such as North American bullfrogs.** These big beefy fellows, typically weighing in at about a pound, are farmed for food on an industrial scale in Asia and South America to meet a surging global demand....
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To read the full article, including how federal agencies pass the buck on disease surveillance and the FDA rule that legally gives frogs fish status, go to the archives page at germtales.com

germtales is now a website. In addition to posts on subjects ranging from The Mystery of the Ancient Horses to Mind Germs, there are book reviews, interviews, news headline links and an extensive, eclectic sources page.

Thanks for your interest!

best,

Janet

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2 Comments:

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Scholiast said...

Erh, yes, right... Although this is obviously a trick by the French to prevent any further "Frog" associations from the British!

Incidentally, although Linnaeus may have been right about the frog / fish thing, he had other things going that weren't as sweet. At least he (or rather, the story he told) made a terrible impact on my oldest son...

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger dronbyfoto said...

Interesting website with a lot of resources and detailed explanations.
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