WASHINGTON — Frustrated by repeated contaminated shipments, the Food and Drug Administration yesterday announced a public warning on farmed seafood imported from China. The “import alert” applies to five species of farmed product: catfish, shrimp, basa, dace and eel, the last of which was already being held at the border as the result of a separate alert issued last year. According to officials, traces of antimicrobial drugs like malachite green and nitrofurans were found in specimens tested by U.S. authorities between October 2006 and May 2007, as part of a targeted investigation of seafood from China. None of these substances is approved for use in farm-raised seafood in the United States. Officials stressed there is “no immediate threat” to U.S. consumers from imported Chinese seafood, though 15% of the samples tested positive for drug residues. As a result of the action, exporters will have to provide proof of compliance with U.S. regulations before their shipment is released for distribution.
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