December 15, 2006


Vietnam apologises for contaminated shrimp exports to Japan


Vietnam's Ministry of Fisheries has sent a letter of apology to Japan for antibiotic-contained shrimp exports sent to the country.


In its letter to the Japanese Food and Drug Administration Bureau, the National Fisheries Quality Assurance and Veterinary Directorate (Nafiqaved) said it expressed its regret over the chloramphenicol content in shrimp batches shipped to Japan.


Nafiqaved said it was toughening measures like stringent analysis and supervision to improve the quality of the products.


The agency also gave three causes for the contamination. It said that some Vietnamese enterprises had failed to conduct checks of antibiotics and prohibited chemicals in raw materials before processing.


In addition, materials were bought from seafood breeders in remote areas where rules on the chemicals were lax. The barrier cream which workers in shrimp processing facilities put on also contained chloramphenicol.


Japan announced yesterday five more Vietnamese enterprises alleged to have exported shrimp containing chloramphenicol yesterday. 


This year, 16 shrimp exporters have been listed for contaminated batches by Japanese inspectors.


Japan is one of Vietnam's major seafood customers, accounting for a quarter of its seafood exports, second only to the US.