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FDA Issues Import Alert on Shrimp,Prawns from Peninsular Malaysia

19 April 2016

US - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an import alert allowing its District Offices to detain, without physical examination, imports of shrimp and prawns from peninsular Malaysia due to testing that found that approximately one-third of imports from peninsular Malaysia contained residues of nitrofurans and/or chloramphenicol.

FDA testing in fiscal year 2015 has shown an increase in shipments of Malaysian shrimp and prawns containing residues of nitrofurans and chloramphenicol. Shrimp or prawns that contain residues of nitrofurans or chloramphenicol are adulterated and not permitted in United States commerce.

In the past, the FDA has taken steps to prevent companies with violative shipments from continuing to import shrimp and prawns containing nitrofuran and chloramphenicol residues by placing them on existing Import Alerts. This means that the companies’ future shipments may be detained without physical examination at the port of entry and the importer may submit evidence, such as test results from a private laboratory, demonstrating that the products are free of nitrofuran and chloramphenicol residues.

The agency has requested that the Malaysian government investigate the cause of the residue problem and develop a program of short-term and long-term actions to prevent the export of violative shrimp from Malaysia to the United States.

Despite Malaysia’s ban on the use of chloramphenicol and nitrofurans in seafood farm operations, the FDA has continued to find residues of these drugs in shrimp and prawns from peninsular Malaysia exported to the United States.

From October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015, the FDA tested 138 samples of shrimp and prawns from peninsular Malaysia. In all, 45 samples (32 percent) contained residues of chloramphenicol and/or nitrofurans. For that reason, FDA is today placing companies processing and/or shipping shrimp and prawns from peninsular Malaysia on Import Alert.

Malaysia’s states of Sabah and Sarawak are not subject to the import alert.

TheFishSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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