kayOn Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released details regarding imports refused entry into the United States for the month of June. In total, the agency reported refusing 124 seafood entry lines last month. Of these, 7 (5.6%) were of shrimp entry lines refused for reasons related to banned antibiotics.
Through the first half of 2016, refusals for antibiotic-contaminated shrimp are well below the elevated levels reported by the agency over the last two years. The drop in the overall number of refusals is likely in significant part attributable to a massive decline in the volume of shrimp claimed to be of Malaysian-origin to this market. Nevertheless, even in the absence of “Malaysian” shrimp shipments, the agency’s overall refusals of shrimp from a variety of other countries in on pace to be the fourth highest number of entry lines refused over the last fifteen years.
Moreover, 2016 has been characterized by a surprising diversity in the origin of shrimp containing traces of banned antibiotics. For the year, the FDA has refused shrimp entry lines originating from seven different countries (Bangladesh, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam) for banned antibiotics. Last month, the entry line refusals involved four different companies in four different countries:
- Jagadeesh Marine Exports (India), a company not currently listed on Import Alert 16-129 for nitrofurans, but listed on Import Alert 16-124 for chloramphenicol on November 16, 2015, had four entry lines refused for shrimp contaminated with veterinary drug residues in the Florida District;
- Southern Foods Limited (Bangladesh), a company not currently listed on either Import Alert 16-124 or Import Alert 16-129 (there are no Bangladeshi companies listed on Import Alert 16-124), had one entry line refused for shrimp contaminated with nitrofurans in the New York District. This was the first refusal reported by the FDA of a shrimp shipment from Bangladesh for banned antibiotics since June of 2013;
- Yingkou Ruiyang Industry Co. Ltd. (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; and
- Comercializadora de Mariscos Dona Chayo SA de CV (Mexico), a company not currently listed on either Import Alert 16-124 or Import Alert 16-129 (there are no Mexican companies listed on Import Alert 16-129), had one entry line refused for shrimp contaminated with veterinary drug residues and nitrofurans in the Southwest District. An entry line of shrimp was refused from the same company by the same district for the same reasons in April, with that refusal being the first refusal of antibiotic-contaminated shrimp from Mexico since September 2007.
Over half of the shrimp entry line refusals in June were for shipments from India. Last year, a record total of 34 entry lines of shrimp from India were refused for reasons related to banned antibiotics. Through just the first half of 2016, the FDA has already reported 43 entry lines of shrimp from India refused for the same reasons.
Nevertheless, while the FDA is reporting refusals from a wide array of countries, the issues with Indian shrimp this year appear to be narrow and are attributable to just four exporters identified in the published refusal information:
Five Star Marine Exports Pvt. Limited – 20 shipments
Jagadeesh Marine Exports – 13 shipments
RDR Exports – 8 shipments
Kay Kay Exports – 2 shipments