This morning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published data reporting that there were 26 total seafood entry line refusals in August (through at least August 25th). None of these refusals were for entry lines of shrimp for reasons related to banned antibiotics. However, two of the twenty-six entry lines (7.7%) were for shrimp from India refused for the presence of salmonella and for being insanitary.
The small number of total seafood entry lines refused in August (26) continues, for the fourth straight month, an unprecedented low in the agency’s history of oversight of imported seafood. Over the previous eighteen years (2002-2019), the FDA has refused an average of roughly 174 seafood entry in the month of August. The 26 seafood entry line refusals reported last month represents a drop of 85 percent below this historic average. The chart below sets out the total number of seafood entry lines refused by the FDA in the month of August for each of the last nineteen years.
Over the last fourth months, the decline in FDA refusals of seafood entry lines has been stunning. Between 2002 and 2019, the FDA averaged 660 entry line refusals in the four-month period running from May to August. This year the FDA has refused just 129 seafood entry lines over the past four months; an amount representing a staggering 80 percent decline from the prior 18-year historical average.