February 1, 2010


Nitrofuran hits Bangladesh shrimp exports again



Two frozen shrimp consignments exported by Bangladesh to the US have been reportedly found contaminated with nitrofuran.


This follows after Bangladesh had battled with nitrofuran in its shrimp exports to the EU, finally resuming shipments to Europe in January this year after an eight-month long self-imposed ban.


The Bangladeshi embassy in Washington DC said it had received the information from a confidential source, and that such findings could cost the frozen food sector the US market. Frozen food is Bangladesh's second biggest export earning sector, generating nearly US$353 million in the 2008-09 financial year.


The embassy requested that government agencies take action to ban the use of nitrofuran in shrimp to prevent further problems.


But Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA) President Musa Meah said it was yet to be confirmed that the allegation is true. He said they will take necessary remedial measures, but stressed that nitrofuran is not harmful to human health.


Kazi Shahnewaz, owner of Shahnewaz Seafood Private Ltd in Khulna, said exporters are not currently facing problems in their business with the US market. He said they are currently busy addressing problems in exports to the EU market, and will look into the US issue later.