GAO Report Asks Why FDA Won’t Ask Foreign Suppliers To Do More To Stop Shipments Of Contaminated Seafood
by Southern Shrimp Alliance
Posted: 2017-10-04 15:48:54 EST

Over the last several years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has significantly increased the agency’s testing of imported shrimp for banned antibiotics.  According to data released by the FDA to the Southern Shrimp Alliance in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the number of tests conducted by the agency has increased tenfold since the beginning of this century.

With more testing for banned antibiotics and higher detection rates, the FDA might be expected to have taken a more aggressive approach to eliminating the use of antibiotics in aquaculture.  Yet a report made public yesterday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), Imported Seafood Safety:  FDA and USDA Could Strengthen Efforts to Prevent Unsafe Drug Residues (GAO-17-443, Sept. 2017), indicates that the FDA has not changed its approach.

Even with increased sampling of shrimp imports, the FDA sampled just 0.1 percent of all seafood entry lines for the presence of banned antibiotics in fiscal year (FY) 2015.

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