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)


Edit Your Comment

  1. superlayne says:

    Yay! I feel safe!

  2. feralparakeet says:

    This is actually a blessing and a curse. A blessing because, obviously, there will be less poisoned chinese seafood coming in. The curse, though, is that we get the bulk of our shrimp and many other seafood products from China (hence why American shrimp fishermen are advertising on TV these days). So, when the shrimp supply rapidly shrinks around the 4th of July, when there’s still a good bit more of that summer-beach-and-seafood-season left to go, that’s not good for the everyday consumer.

    I’m hoping the trickle-down will take a while, but I’m not holding my breath. Meh.

  3. dbeahn says:

    Good! This should stop at least 1% of Chinese seafood from getting into the US!

  4. dbeahn says:

    @feralparakeet: Seafood has a shelf life of what? 2 weeks max? Expect trickle down to happen immediately…

  5. B says:

    @dbeahn: Except for frozen seafood.

  6. nequam says:

    @dbeahn: But wouldn’t most Chinese seafood be frozen?

    It was price concerns (and Walmart logic) that got us into this mess in the first place. And what could be less patriotic then serving up some poison Chinese shrimp at the July 4th BBQ? Let them stick to the fireworks.

  7. bluemeep says:

    @nequam: And what could be less patriotic then serving up some poison Chinese shrimp at the July 4th BBQ?

    Instead of serving cocktail sauce with them, call it “Commie Sauce.”

  8. monolithic says:

    This is hilarious. I get the feeling that this is a “omg u bant my food ill ban ur food” situation. China just recently banned some stuff ( [www.foxnews.com] ) [onos fox news]

    And now the US just banned these things. A quote from the article is: “We’re not asking for this product to be withdrawn from the market or for people to take this out of their freezers and throw it away,” Acheson said. “This is a long-term health concern; it is not an acute health concern.”

    source: [www.cnn.com]

    Also, don’t forget about the toothpaste.

    This just seems like a stupid game of banning each others stuff.

  9. mopar_man says:

    And what could be less patriotic then serving up some poison Chinese shrimp at the July 4th BBQ?

    Serving it on all the party supplies you bought from Wal-Mart that were produced in China?

  10. royal72 says:

    “the fish may be on drugs”

    so is every person in this country with over the counter drugs, prescription drugs, or otherwise. so what’s the problem?

  11. smartwatermelon says:

    Do I get a prize for recognizing the photo?

    It’s from the LEGO store at the Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World.

  12. etinterrapax says:

    No eel? Horrors!

    Kind of sorry about the shrimp, though. Perhaps we can find an alternate source. Between this and the red tide, it could be a slim season for shellfish lovers like myself.

  13. FLConsumer says:

    Re:pic I was wondering what Disney had to do with this myself when I saw the pic…

    Smartwatermelon: for bonus points, what was that area called before Disney renamed it?

  14. drkkgt says:

    @FLCONSUMER: Central Florida

  15. FLConsumer says:

    @drkkgt: Not quite…thinking of the actual area where that dragon is at.

  16. Chicago7 says:


    Yeah, I called this awhile ago, although I view it as more of trade deficit fight. They won’t revalue their currency, so we’ll get them by banning their products.

    Hahahaha! That’ll work.

  17. AcidReign says:

    &nbsp &nbsp I’d get the death penalty if I served shrimp on the 4th. It’s gotta be ribs, pork shoulder, and/or pork loin, or my family isn’t happy. I even got in trouble two years ago for barbecuing boneless pork chops.

    &nbsp &nbsp This ruling will KILL Walmart’s already feeble little seafood shelf. The shelf-life of Chinese seafood is actually a lot longer than two weeks, because it’s nearly all frozen.

    &nbsp &nbsp On my annual beach vacation, I usually hit Gulf Coast Seafood, on the Miracle Strip Parkway in Ft. Walton. That’s all fresh local stuff, and by mid-September, there are usually some real deals, since the tourist crowds have thinned out.

  18. bohemian says:

    Our local grocery chain (Hyvee) has huge open chest freezers full of Chinese salmon for $3.98 a pound. I noticed it last week. Either they bought a truckload of the stuff or nobody is buying it because the entire bank of chest type freezers full of it is still all there. Both times I was in not a single person wandered over to check it out or grab any.

    It could be twenty five cents a pound and I wouldn’t touch it.

    I thought most shrimp came from Thailand?

  19. Mom2Talavera says:

    My husband likes EcoFish.
    Wild Sashimi Grade Oregon Tuna is his favorite.


  20. nequam says:

    @bluemeep: Ha! It is red!

  21. astrochimp says:

    Yes yes yes: let’s concentrate exclusively on the exports of one country to see what we find. Oh! They’re not up to our standards. What of the exports of other countries, you ask? We never checked…. what’s your point?

    Conclusion: the US knows that China is the next world economic superpower, so let’s start hitting them where it hurts — their economy!

    Anticipation: US bans Chinese electronics for not containing enough silicon in their microchips… or possibly too much. Minds are not yet made up.