November 5, 2007


Pakistan bans nitrofuran import



The Pakistan government has announced a ban on nitrofuran imports in an effort to comply with international food safety compliances.


Use of the chemical is banned in the US, EU and some Asian countries.


The government issued a statement stating that a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) will be issued in days.


Farmers in Pakistan have long been using the harmful antibiotic as an ingredient in poultry feed to prevent diseases.


Despite repeated EU warnings, nitrofuran is also used in fishmeal. Seafood shipments from Pakistan to the EU were turned back after traces of the chemical were discovered last year.


The EU has expressed "grave concerns" over the use of such chemicals in seafood exports.


Pakistan has a ban on the use of nitrofuran in the pharmaceutical sector but farmers continue to use the chemical in hatcheries and feedmills.


The EU banned seafood from Pakistan in March this year as inspectors found the conditions at its processing harbour unsatisfactory.


Pakistan is doing its best to re-open seafood exports to the EU as almost half of the country's seafood is normally exported to the region.