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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Pangasius worries a food safety scare: NFI  (อ่าน 1996 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: กรกฎาคม 26, 2010, 07:44:35 PM »


NFI called the report that warns against imported pangasius a 'centerpiece of an anti-competition effort'. (Photo: Stock File/FIS)

Pangasius worries a food safety scare: NFI

UNITED STATES
Monday, July 26, 2010, 16:00 (GMT + 9)



A new report from Exponent Inc's Center for Chemical Regulation and Food Safety claims that consuming contaminated pangasius from Vietnam and China could have "serious long-term human health consequences." But the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) called it an exaggerated food safety scare.

There are "major hazards" associated with farmed fish, such as pathogenic microorganisms, antimicrobial drug residues and environmental chemicals, according to the report.

But NFI called the report a "centerpiece of an anti-competition effort" that looking to create a food safety scare and noted that the report was paid for by the special interest lobbying group Catfish Farmers of America. The latter seeks to create a scare to put its competition out of business, NFI said.

Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Food & Water Watch and the Catfish Farmers of America announced the report’s findings on Thursday.

Lincoln said she was "loud and clear" on the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) postponement in applying the catfish inspection rule, part of the 2008 Farm Bill, which transferred jurisdiction over catfish safety to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The proposed rule, which was supposed to be implemented last year, has been on hold in the Office of Management and Budget allegedly due to objections raised by the Office of the US Trade Representative over worries that countries exporting catfish to the US will not be able to meet FSIS’s food safety standards.

The report says the USDA inspection would have the following benefits:

  • USDA requires that countries exporting products to the US have inspection programmes equivalent to that of the US based on USDA review.
  • USDA mandates continuous inspection of the foods it regulates.
  • USDA establishes standards for microbial hazards, tests for contamination, tests production facilities and evaluates individual facilities.
  • USDA regularly conducts foreign inspections of producers who export to the US.


NFI countered with the following points, among others:

  • Antibiotics are used in red meat and poultry, of which Americans eat nearly 200 lbs of annually while eating only 0.259 lbs of imported pangasius annually.
  • Import data shows that in the last year a total of only eight out of 507 pangasius shipments were refused entry into the US due to “drug residues.” 
  • The report claims that a study shows Vietnamese pangasius is “twice as likely as domestic fish to be contaminated by salmonella.” But it was clearly spelled out that “Incidence of salmonella in farm-raised catfish (33 per cent) and basa (50 per cent) was not significantly different” and that “both species had microbial quality indices below limits of concern.”
  • The report notes that freshwater aquaculture should have a regulatory system based on distinctive challenges -- but it already does.


Related articles:

- NFI asserts its opinions on catfish
- New law to distinguish catfish from pangasius


By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com


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