More concerns have been raised about food imported from China after the FDA has announced that they are detaining all farm-raised catfish, basa, shrimp, eel and other fish being imported into the US.

The FDA is concerned that the Chinese farm-raised seafood may contain residues from drugs that are not approved for use in farm-raised aquatic animals.

“We’re taking this strong step because of current and continuing evidence that certain Chinese aquaculture products imported into the United States contain illegal substances that are not permitted in seafood sold in the United States,” said Dr. David Acheson, FDA’s assistant commissioner for food protection. “We will accept entries of these products from Chinese firms that demonstrate compliance with our requirements and safety standards.”

During targeted sampling from October 2006 through May 2007, FDA repeatedly found that farm-raised seafood imported from China were contaminated with antimicrobial agents that are not approved for this use in the United States.

The contaminants were the antimicrobials nitrofuran, malachite green, gentian violet, and fluoroquinolone. Nitrofuran, malachite green, and gentian violet have been shown to be carcinogenic with long-term exposure in lab animals. The use of fluoroquinolones in food animals may increase antibiotic resistance to this critically important class of antibiotics.

The FDA will allow the shipments in the US if the company provides documentation to confirm the products are free of residues of these drugs. Since some Chinese companies have recently been accused of allegedly faking similar required documentation I’m concerned about consuming any seafood from China.

This has the potential in turning into a very big problem as Chinese seafood accounts for 21 percent of all seafood imported into the US. China imports more shrimp than anything else so we might start seeing some shrimp cost increases due to this.

[tags]food safety, fresh fish, fish, seafood[/tags]