October 28, 2003

 

 

EU Enforces Stringent Checks on India's Poultry & Marine Exports

 

The European Union (EU) has once again sounded a red alert on India's poultry and marine products' exports. According to industry sources, the EU has decided to adopt a precautious approach for checking the possible contaminants in these products.

 

The EU has despatched a high-level veterinary team to meet Indian exporters across all the states and check for those produces which might contain higher levels of antibiotic residue levels crossing above the stipulated levels by EU. The four varieties of contaminants on the lookout by the team include physical, chemical, microbial and pesticides in the edible products.

 

Till date, the teams have already visited Kochi, Nellore, Bangalore, Lucknow, Jaipur and Hyderabad to check the four varieties of contaminants besides emphasising their norms which allow the products to be exported, said the government officials having knowledge on the issue. About Rs 50 crore of products were rejected last year.

 

Both processed and marine products were rejected since it contained higher levels of preservatives and antibiotics, the industry sources said. Te EU team was in Hyderabad recently to check antibiotics in feed, water and the nature of vaccines used by the poultry and marine industry. Besides this, the nature of the feed, source of water, the type of plant and the status of various farms located in the city were also observed by the EU team.

 

Poultry and marine produces were among those commonly targeted from the state as Andhra Pradesh which is the leading producer. The EU has framed stringent regulations, including the testing of the levels of residue particles in the exported food products by parts per billion. Earlier on, it was by parts per million (PPM) levels.

 

Traceability is the core issue in the checks and the team has advised the producers to go for alternative usage of chemicals and adopt organic culture. The team also emphasised on the dosage and withdrawal period of those chemicals which are very much product-specific unless it is labelled for all-product use and prevent health hazards among the people.