April 22, 2015
Uphill challenge for Vietnam to restrict antibiotics use in shrimp exports
During January - February 2015, the USDA's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had turned away 107 shrimp batches from India, Malaysia, China and Vietnam, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
The FDA alleged that deliveries were tainted with nitrofurantoin, an antibiotic for treating urinary tract infection.
The rejection of affected shrimp exports is a setback for Vietnam's Thuan Phuoc Seafood JSC which has spent US$1 million yearly to control antibiotic residues in deliveries.
Tran Van Linh, the company's general director, said that it has deployed Thuan Phuoc staff to monitor the farming process and scrutinise materials supplied by merchants.
"However, we sometimes still mistakenly accept shrimp with antibiotic residues," he admitted. However, he also blamed state management agencies in Vietnam for their lax approach towards controlling seafood antibiotics.
Nguyen Van Dao, the general director of Go Dang JSC, pointed to the susceptibility of shrimps to infection, thus a more labourious challenge in restricting antibiotic use. The situation further exacerbated with the difficulty in tracking down material sources since seafood export companies obtain shrimps from multiple suppliers including farmers, merchants and imports.
Nevertheless, most Vietnamese enterprises are adhering to tough regulations on the quality of input materials, said Truong Dinh Hoe, the secretary general of VASEP.
Unfortunately, some companies have not been stringent on their selection of materials, he added.