September 6, 2007


China's trade body assures importers no nitrofuran used in shrimps 



Exported frozen shrimps from China are safe for consumption, China's trade body for food export said in a statement, in response to Taiwan's  ban on the product due to discoveries of nitrofuran in frozen shrimp shipments.


The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA) said nitrofuran is explicitly banned in shrimp farms in China and that strict supervision were carried out both on raw materials and finished products for frozen shrimp exports.


Each shipment is subjected to drug residue tests before export, the statement said.


Despite China's assertions, Taiwan authorities said they have found the cancer-causing drug in five shipments between July and August this year.


In the first half of 2007, Taiwan imported 2,500 tonnes of frozen shrimps from the mainland.


The CFNA, however, conceded that there could have been illegal exports that could have caused the recent food safety problems spotted in mainland aquatic food exports.


The CFNA said nations should not resort to trade protectionism which do not differentiate the illegal from legal shipments and warned against parties stirring up paranoia.


The CFNA is a non-profit national trade and industry organization which represents over 5,400 members on the mainland.