Monday, November 22, 2010

Farmed Shrimp from South Asia - in the News

A recent story in the Globe and Mail titled: The big challenge in making farmed shrimp safe to eat, states that Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), continues to find illegal substances in samples of shrimp imported from Thailand.  The story by JESSICA LEEDER — Global Food Reporter, in Monday’s 2010-11-22 globe and mail also points out that recent sample checks, by the CFIA on Thai imports have uncovered residues of antibiotics deemed illegal for food production in Canada and the United States.

Although the Canadian Food Inspection Agency only scans a fraction of incoming seafood – five per cent is the agency’s target – inspectors are still finding tetracyclines (antibiotics commonly used to treat acne) nitrofurans (an antimicrobial drug and known carcinogen banned in Canada) and fluoroquinolones (broad-spectrum antibiotics used in human medicine) in the shipments they test. None should be consumed by humans. They’re also supposed to be illegal in Thailand, a global shrimp farming giant that pledged years ago to flush drugs out of its system, which yields 550,000 tons of shrimp per year.

 “We can’t inspect one hundred per cent of every piece of fish that comes in the country, otherwise there won’t be anything to eat,” said Jeanelle Boudreau, a fish policy officer with the CFIA’s fish and seafood network. The agency is constantly adjusting its inspections to focus on “areas where there might be more issues for non-compliance,” she said.

The full Globe and mail Story can be read at this link.

“In general, it would be fair to say it [antibiotic use] has fallen dramatically in shrimp farms around the world,” said Peter Bridson, manager of the Seafood Watch Program a the Center for the Future of Oceans at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. “That doesn’t mean to say it’s good now,” said Mr. Bridson, who also sits on the Shrimp Aquaculture Dialogue steering committee. “It’s just that it was horrific before.” 

The Thailand shrimp farming industry is made up of thousands of small farmers. The Thai department of fisheries states that it has undertaken a major campaign to educate farmers on best practices, however reducing yield losses often outweighs concerns over sustainability. The use of Antibiotics to keep stock from becoming ill remains a tempting option to the small farmer hoping to get the best yield. Clearly more education on sustainable and chemical free farming methods is needed.

One thing you can do as a consumer is monitor what you buy and where it comes from. Buy what you trust and have the best available information on. If possible opt for foods Labeled organic or from known sustainable sources. 

5 comments:

Veri Kurtarma said...

Thanks for sharing, I love reading you should post more often...

Stanley said...

Very informative video. This is great news! Aquaculture is instrumental in feeding the new generation. Its a much more efficient alternative to poultry, cattle, and other food resources.

More details about why aquaculture is the future:
http://blog.zintro.com/2010/11/22/aquaculture-2010-and-looking-into-the-future/

Stanley said...

Very informative video. This is great news! Aquaculture is instrumental in feeding the new generation. Its a much more efficient alternative to poultry, cattle, and other food resources.

More details about why aquaculture is the future:
http://blog.zintro.com/2010/11/22/aquaculture-2010-and-looking-into-the-future/

China food safety said...

Instead of a public agency scanning only randomly shipments when the goods arrive at destination, importers should take on themselves to run proper inspection programs at the source in Asia...

shrimp farming said...

Very nice posting. Enjoyed reading. Among the south Asian shrimp exporting countries Bangladesh is in a leading position.