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News 261 views last update:6 Aug 2012

EU gets tough on shrimp antibiotic residues

The European Union has taken a strong opinion on antibiotic residues in shrimp batches coming from India. The EU no longer permits that exported shrimp from India are allowed to be brought back to the country. The move comes at a time when EU has emerged as the biggest market for India, accounting for nearly 30% of the exports.

Exporters here said that earlier consignments containing residues of antibiotic 'chloramphenicol' or 'nitrofuran' were allowed to be brought back to the country, though after a lot of pressure. However, they refused to tell as what was done with the shrimp after they arrived back in the country. Sources said these found their way into the domestic market.

Batches destroyed

According to EU, chloramphenicol and nitrofurans, are considered potentially harmful at any level. Therefore a limit of 0.3 ppb (parts per billion) for chloramphenicol and 1 ppb for nitrofuran had been fixed. 
The EU therefore wants contaminated batches to be destroyed. All costs associated with destruction are for the account of the importer or its representative.

Organic shrimp farming
A senior Marine Products Export Development Authority (Mpeda) said that the use of antibiotics in the aquaculture farms had been brought down considerably. A series of awareness campaigns had been undertaken to promote organic shrimp farming. The authority has therefore entered into an agreement recently with Switzerland Import Promotion Organisation and steps to promote organic farming across the country would be undertaken soon.

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