FDA Is Cracking Down on Contaminated Shrimp Imports (Update)

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) released data for February 2015 indicating that of the 114 entry lines of seafood refused last month, 24 were of imported shrimp for reasons related to veterinary drug residues.  Nineteen of the entry lines refused for banned antibiotics were of shrimp shipped from Malaysia, four for shrimp shipped from India, and one for shrimp shipped from China.

These refusals involved a total of seven companies:

  • Ocean Pioneer Food Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia), eleven entry lines of shrimp were refused from a company currently listed on Import Alert 16-124 for shrimp contaminated with chloramphenicol;

 

  • Fishergold Cold Storage Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia), six entry lines of shrimp were refused from a company that is not currently listed on either Import Alert 16-124 or 16-129;

 

  • Penshrimp Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia), one entry line of shrimp was refused from the company newly listed on March 2, 2015 on Import Alert 16-129 for shrimp contaminated with nitrofurans;

 

  • Ria Budimas Trading (Malaysia), one entry line of shrimp was refused from the company newly listed on March 2, 2015 on Import Alert 16-129 for shrimp contaminated with nitrofurans;

 

  • Xiamen Seafood Imp. & Exp. Trading Co., Ltd. (China), one entry line of shrimp was refused from a company that does not have a current exclusion from Import Alert 16-131;

 

  • Sharat Industries (India), three entry lines of shrimp were refused from a company that is not currently listed on either Import Alert 16-124 or 16-129; and

 

  • Forstar Frozen Foods Pvt. Ltd. (India), one entry line of shrimp was refused from a company currently listed on Import Alert 16-124 for shrimp contaminated with chloramphenicol.

 

The Southern Shrimp Alliance has compiled refusal information for shrimp products since 2002 available from the FDA.  These data show that the 24 refusals in February, coupled with the 58 refusals in January, mean that 2015 has already had the fourth most refusals of entry lines of shrimp for reasons related to veterinary drug residues since 2002:

 

As shown in the chart above, the FDA’s 82 refusals of shrimp entry lines in the first two months of 2015 is higher than the total number of entry lines of shrimp refused for reasons related to veterinary drug residues in each of the following ten years:  2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013.  In fact, the 82 entry line refusals in the first two months of this year already exceeds the FDA’s annual average of 72.5 entry line refusals in the prior thirteen years.

The FDA’s reporting for the month of February continues to provide evidence of a crackdown on shrimp imports contaminated with banned antibiotics.

 

Nevertheless, these extraordinary efforts on the part of a federal agency facing severe resource constraints should not be necessary.  The FDA’s reporting of refusals clearly demonstrates that problems with banned antibiotics in shrimp aquaculture have been limited to a small number of countries.  In particular, of the 1,025 entry lines of shrimp refused for reasons related to veterinary drug residues since 2002, over 90% (928) were shipped from just five countries:  China, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, and Indonesia.

 

Country

Shrimp Entry Lines Refused for Reasons Related to Veterinary Drug Residues

China

409

Malaysia

244

Vietnam

175

India

73

Indonesia

27

 

Nearly fourteen years worth of data demonstrate that there are a large number of sources of farmed shrimp available that do not raise significant concerns regarding the use of banned antibiotics.  And, yet, the relentless pursuit of cheap shrimp appears to be more important.

 

Read SSA’s original February 4, 2015 post, FDA Is Cracking Down on Contaminated Shrimp Importshttps://www.shrimpalliance.com/fda-is-cracking-down-on-contaminated-shrimp-imports/

 

Filed Under