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Antibiotic-Laced Shipments Rejected by the European Union


The indiscriminate use of antibiotics in shrimp farming has emerged as a threat to India’s shrimp exports, a major revenue producer for the country.  Sources in the Fisheries Department say 36 containers carrying shrimp shipped from Visakhapatnam and Nellore in the state of Andhra Pradesh were rejected by the European Union recently because of antibiotic residues.


Research conducted by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) in Visakhapatnam confirmed the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in India’s farmed shrimp.  Blaming lack of awareness among farmers and poor monitoring mechanisms, scientists said the practice could result in several health issues including anemia and cancer in consumers.


Madhusudhana Rao, CIFT’s principal scientist, said during the last six months, the European Union has rejected ten shrimp shipments from India because of antibiotic residues of the banned antibiotics furazolidone and chloramphenicol in Penaeus vannamei.  The European Union has warned India that it may ban all its shrimp if it continues to find antibiotic residues in Indian shrimp.  But neither farmers nor hatcheries in India have paid any attention to the warnings.


Japan and the United States have also rejected some shrimp shipments from Andhra Pradesh for the same reason.


Indian scientists are calling for standardized methods for testing antibiotic content.  They say the testing procedures in India and the European Union differ, resulting in different results.


In a recent meeting with the Commissioner of Fisheries, CIFT recommended an action plan to minimize the use of antibiotics in shrimp farming, saying India must ensure that shrimp growout feeds and hatchery feeds are free from banned antibiotics.


Source: Indian Express.  EU Turns Down Antibiotics-Laced Shrimp Shipment.  Sri Lakshmi Muttevi and Aditya Pavan.  October 25, 2017.


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