November 18, 2008
A banned antibiotic that can lead to bone marrow defects has been detected in a shipment of Chinese cooked ducked meat, according to South Korea's quarantine service on Monday (November 17, 2008).
The 3-tonne shipment contained a low level of chloramphenicol at 0.0006 parts per million, said the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS).
On November 7, authorities also found a package containing 1.3 parts per billion. Both shipments were from Cooked Foods Processing of Weifang Legang Food Co.
All imports from the Chinese supplier had been halted after the first discovery, and new tests were carried out on the 49.9 tonnes held in storage, said the NVRQS.
"Because another sample came out positive, we have asked the local importer to send the shipments back or to destroy those already in the country," an official said.
The official also said stricter inspections will be carried out on all cooked poultry meat from China to check specifically for the antibiotic.
The substance is used as a cheap and effective antibiotic in poor countries, but limits have been imposed as it can lead to aplastic anaemia in rare cases. This condition obstructs the body's bone marrow from producing new blood.