FDA Bans Import Of Chinese Seafood

The FDA is detaining all farm-raised catfish, basa, shrimp, dace, and eel from China over concerns that the fish may be on drugs. Tests since last October repeatedly revealed the presence nitrofuran, malachite green, and gentian violet – antibiotics that are not approved for human consumption in the United States. Though no general recall has been issued, the “FDA is concerned about long term exposure as well as the possible development of antibiotic resistance.” Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Wang Xinpei responded in classic form, saying:

“It can be said that the quality of China’s exports all are guaranteed.” The FDA agrees that the China’s quality control is consistent:

“We’re taking this strong step because of current and continuing evidence that certain Chinese aquaculture products imported into the United States contain illegal substances that are not permitted in seafood sold in the United States,” said Dr. David Acheson, FDA’s assistant commissioner for food protection. “We will accept entries of these products from Chinese firms that demonstrate compliance with our requirements and safety standards.”

To ensure that there are no misunderstandings, Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Margaret Glavin clearly laid out the requirements for regaining access to our markets:

“Clearly the addition of these drugs, it’s a deliberate event. If they stop adding them, the problem is going to go away.”

FDA Detains Imports of Farm-Raised Chinese Seafood [FDA]
FDA Halts Imports Of Some Chinese Seafood [Washington Post]
(Photo: Aaron Gustafson)

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