Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Apr 14, 2005
Regulatory Bodies & Rulings
Agri-Biz & Commodities - Aquaculture
Industry & Economy - Exports & Imports
Marketing - Standards & Benchmarks
Seafood industry on alert as US FDA detains shipments Banned antibiotic in shrimp imports
Vipin V. Nair
Kochi , April 13
SEAFOOD industry in the country is on alert as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it would detain shipments from a number of countries, including India, if a banned antibiotic is detected in shrimp imports.
Leaving nothing to chance, seafood exporters, who had earlier been affected by similar steps taken by the European Union, have decided to buy shrimp from farmers only after they produce a certificate that their shrimp does not contain any banned antibiotic.
" Because of the risks involved, we will not procure shrimp unless they are certified by the Export Inspection Agency," said Mr A.J. Tharakan, National President of the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI).
FDA has stated that shipments from 13 firms in India, China, Malaysia, Peru, Venezuela, Thailand and Vietnam were found to contain Chloramphenicol, a banned antibiotic in the US.
After the EU adopted strict norms, the seafood industry had carried out a major upgrading process. "We have installed equipment required for testing all along the coast line and farmers were told about this facility," Mr Tharakan said.
However, the industry, already hit by the US move to impose anti-dumping duties of shrimp imports and the tsunami disaster, does not want to take any risks.
Since it is not possible for exporters to check every lot of shrimp from the farmers for the banned substances, the industry has now decided to ask the farmers themselves to ensure that their produce conforms to prescribed standards.
Unless the farmers bring the certificate that their produce was clear of the antibiotic, the exports would not buy them, Mr Tharakan said.
The FDA said in the alert issued in its Web site: "There has been an extensive commercialisation and an increased consumption rate of aquaculture seafood products. As this industry grows, the use of unapproved new animal drugs and the misuse of approved new animal drugs in seafood raised through aquaculture also grows. The use of unapproved new animal drugs will have an impact on the safety of aquaculture products for consumers."
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