2016 Was a Record Year for FDA Refusals of Shrimp Contaminated with Banned Antibiotics

News Alert:  2016 Was a Record Year for FDA Refusals of Shrimp Contaminated with Banned Antibiotics
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) today released information regarding entry line refusals for the last week of November and the month of December.  In total, 7 of the 270 (2.6%) entry line refusals in the months of November and December were of shrimp for reasons related to banned antibiotics.

For all of 2016, as the table below indicates, the FDA has refused 133 entry lines of shrimp for banned antibiotics – the third highest annual number of refusals since 2002.

 

The steep drop in entry line refusals of shrimp contaminated by antibiotics between 2015 and 2016 was due to an Import Alert imposed by the FDA early in 2016 on Malaysian shrimp imports.  As shrimp from Malaysia has exited the U.S. market, the number of overall refusals has substantially declined.
However, the massive increase in Malaysian shrimp refusals has masked the FDA’s enhanced focus on antibiotics in shrimp generally.  If the table above is adjusted to exclude refusals of shrimp shipped from Malaysia, the FDA’s reporting indicates that the agency refused more shrimp for reasons related to banned antibiotics this year than any prior year for which data are available.

The total number of refusals in 2016 is largely attributable to three countries:   India (95); Vietnam (17); and China (15).  The number of Indian shrimp entry lines being refused for banned antibiotics is unprecedented and the total number of entry lines refused this year was equal to the highest number of entry lines of Chinese shrimp refused for antibiotic contamination:

The seven shrimp entry lines refused by the FDA for banned antibiotics in November and December were from Vietnam and China and were reported by four different FDA districts:
  • Tan Phong Phu Seafood Company (Vietnam)

    , a company not currently listed on Import Alerts 16-124 or 16-129, but became the first Vietnamese company listed on Import Alert 16-127 for chloramphenicol in its shrimp on March 30, 2016, had
    two entry lines refused for shrimp contaminated with chloramphenicol and salmonella in the Chicago District in December;
  • Nha Trang Seaproduct Company (Vietnam), a company not currently listed on Import Alerts 16-124, 16-127, or 16-129, had one entry line refused for shrimp contaminated with veterinary drug residues in the Southwest District in December;
  • Thuan Phuoc Seafoods and Trading (Vietnam), a company that has been listed on Import Alert 16-124 for chloramphenicol in its shrimp since December 12, 2013, had one entry line refused for shrimp contaminated with veterinary drug residues in the Los Angeles District in December;
  • Shenzen Speed Ocean Intl Transp (China), a company that has not been exempted from Import Alert 16-131, had one entry line refused for shrimp contaminated with veterinary drug residues in the New York District in November;
  • Oemerida International Trade (China), a company that has not been exempted from Import Alert 16-131, had one entry line refused for shrimp contaminated with veterinary drug residues in the New York District in November; and
  • Yantai Fujiyasu Food Company Lim (China), a company that has not been exempted from Import Alert 16-131, had one entry line refused for shrimp contaminated with veterinary drug residues in the New York District.

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