There are mixed reports about the safety of swai. While American catfish farmers contend that swai is unsafe, others argue that this is more fear mongering aimed at keeping a less expensive imported fish out of the American market.
Although subject to the same food safety regulations as any other fish, the animals come from an area that is notorious for water pollution. The Mekong Delta in Vietnam, in whose waters some swai are directly raised, is considered heavily polluted by certain sources. Like other catfish caught or raised for culinary purposes, swai are very tolerant of pollution and can live in water that would kill other species.
Studies have found that swai fares better in quality, safety and health compared to other catfish. The flesh contains particularly low levels of mercury compared to other seafood.