EU gets tough on shrimp antibiotic residues

09-02-2007 | |

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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