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Wal-Mart Pulls Chinese Catfish After Alabama Bans Sales

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart stores here removed 4-ounce frozen Chinese catfish fillets from its stores nationwide last week in response to recent findings in Alabama that some Chinese catfish contained a Food and Drug Administration banned antibiotic, flouroquinolones. The state of Alabama has also ordered frozen catfish products off the market, and in Florida, state food safety officials are closely monitoring Alabama’s investigation and are trying to learn from the FDA how many of the tainted catfish products are currently available statewide. Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks announced that his agency had tested 20 samples of Chinese catfish, and 13 contained fluoroquinolones. The antibiotic presents no immediate health hazard, but it allows harmful bacteria to build up resistance to antibiotics in farmed animals. That stronger bacteria can then become a greater threat to humans. It is unclear how much Chinese catfish Wal-Mart carries, but only one specific supplier was affected by the removal, said Karen Burke, FDA spokeswoman, in a published report. It was not clarified whether all Chinese catfish fillets sold at Wal-Mart came from that supplier.

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