Monday, November 9, 2009

Alabama issues stop sale order on Asian catfish

Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 03:10 (GMT + 9)

Commissioner Ron Sparks of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries announced on Wednesday a Stop Sale on catfish and basa products imported from Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, China and Vietnam due to positive results for the antibiotic fluoroquinolones.

A total of 40 samples of basa type products and catfish were tested from the five Asian countries, out of which 18 product samples yielded positive results for fluoroquinolones.

Fluoroquinolones and quinolones are chemotherapeutic bactericidal drugs used to kill bacteria by interfering with their DNA replication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow the use of fluoroquinolones in seafood.

Sparks has issued nine orders of suspension from sale or movement for 486 cases of product weighing 8,840 lbs. These products were either voluntarily destroyed or returned to the importer after the Alabama Department notified the FDA of the drug traces.

The Alabama Department’s detection reporting limit is 1 part per billion (ppb) or greater. In the results, 17 samples were in the 1-5ppb range and one sample tested greater than 50ppb.

The basa type products tested were swai, sutchi and pangasius. Out of 19 Vietnamese samples, 12 tested positive; both Cambodian samples tested positive; one of three Indonesian samples tested positive; one of seven Thai samples tested positive; and one Chinese sample tested positive.

Also, one of eight samples of Chinese channel catfish tested positive.

Product samples continue to be collected and tested. Enforcement action will be implemented as necessary.

“The Automatic Stop Sale Order criteria established in April of 2007 is still in effect,” stated Sparks. “This series of tests that we have just completed indicates the importance of the continuation of the Stop Sale Order.”

By Natalia Real

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