September 3, 2007


Taiwan suspends shrimp shipments from China after finding Nitrofuran



Taiwan is suspending shrimp shipments from China after finding nitrofuran in five batches of frozen shrimp, Taiwan's Department of Health (DOH) said last week.


Although the antibiotic is often added to commercial ponds to protect fish from parasites and diseases, it is banned in Taiwan and other countries due to possible side effect as it confers greater resistance and leads to cancer and congenital birth defects


Taiwan will suspend further shrimp shipments from China until it sees further improvement, Bureau of Food Sanitation director Cheng Huei-wen told a news conference.


Taiwan tightened inspections of Chinese seafood from 5 percent to 50 percent of all shipments in early July after the US complained about antibiotics in China's seafood.


In the five batches of shrimp that tested positive, residues ranged from 1.1ppb to 39.2ppb of nitrofuran



The incident comes after the island reported hairy crabs from China containing nitrofuran last year.


Although the antibiotic should not have been found in the seafood, consumers need not worry as the concentration present was not yet at significant levels.


An effective treatment dose is much higher than an average person could reasonably consume from tainted shrimp, a toxicologist said.