Navigation Links
Testing of seafood imported into the US is inadequate

Finfish, shrimp, and seafood products are some of the most widely traded foods and about 85 percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported. A new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future at the Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that testing of imported seafood by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is inadequate for confirming its safety or identifying risks. The findings, published this month in Environmental Science and Technology, highlight deficiencies in inspection programs for imported seafood across four of the world's largest importing bodies and show which types of aquatic animals, and from which countries, are most often failing inspection. The study identified a lack of inspection in the U.S. compared to its peers: only 2 percent of all seafood imported into the U.S. is tested for contamination, while the European Union, Japan and Canada inspect as much as 50 percent, 18 percent, and 15 percent of certain imported seafood products. When testing in the U.S. does occur, residues of drugs used in aquaculture, or "fish farms," are sometimes found; above certain concentrations, these drugs are harmful to humans.

David Love, PhD, lead author of the study, and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, acquired data on seafood inspection programs from governmental websites and from direct queries to governmental bodies. They analyzed the number of violations of drug residue standards as a function of species of aquatic animal, exporting country, drug type, import volume and concentration of residue.

Their findings indicate there is an insufficient body of data for evaluating the health risks associated with drug residues in U.S. seafood imports. "Data made accessible to the public by the FDA precludes estimation of exposures to veterinary drugs incurred by the U.S. population," said Keeve Nachman, PhD, a study co-author. Researchers encountered a lack of transparency in U.S. testing protocol and policy. One example of the FDA's opacity is that its public records do not specify when fish pass inspection or whether testing was performed on random samples or targeted samples; these distinctions are critical to accurate assessment of the prevalence of the drug residues.

Love and colleagues' results showed that the FDA tests for 13 types of drug residues, in contrast to inspection agencies in Europe and Japan that test for 34 and 27 drugs, respectively. This discrepancy suggests that seafood producers can use many drugs for which the U.S. does not screen. Based on the authors' findings of drug residues, it can be surmised that veterinary drugs are continuing to be used in aquaculture from developing countries, which can lead to adverse health consequences, including the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on fish farms and their spread in seafood products.

Imports to the U.S., E.U., Canada and Japan with the highest frequency of drug violations were shrimp or prawns, eel, crabs, catfish or pangasius, tilapia and salmon. Vietnam, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, India, and Malaysia were identified as the exporters to the U.S., E.U., Canada and Japan with the most drug violations.

According to Love, "Consumers should be familiar with the country-of-origin and whether the animal was wild-caught or farm-raised." Love admits, "Fortunately, this information has been listed on all raw or lightly processed seafood products in grocery stores since 2005, following the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law."

"Imported seafood may carry risks in terms of food safety because the FDA does not have the resources to proactively and regularly inspect foreign facilities, and it relies on product testing as a last resort," said Love. To minimize the risks of seafood imports and to raise U.S. testing standards to match those of other countries, the authors recommend that the FDA budget be expanded to allow for more exhaustive testing and hiring of more inspectors.


Contact: Tim Parsons
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Related medicine news :

1. New testing method hints at garlics cancer-fighting potential
2. Twenty-Five Years of HIV Blood Testing Helped to Positively Transform Global Health Crisis
3. Christine P. Carrington, President of NurseTesting Creative Solutions, Inducted into Cambridge Who's Who
4. New Allergy Testing Available for Patients Allergic to Penicillin: Determining the Presence of Penicillin Allergy is Essential to Patient Care
5. Breast Cancer Patients Often Confused by Genomic Testing
6. Study Results Validate Shape-HF as Simplified, Portable Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing System
7. San Francisco AIDS Foundation Introduces HIV Testing to Sixth Street
8. Phybridge Inc. Joins the Cisco Developer Network and Completes Cisco Interoperability Verification Testing
9. UAB testing software program to improve safety among older drivers
10. Study Published by Circulation Heart Failure Reinforces Science Behind Shape-HF Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Device
11. Pilot Testing Phase Ends; Expansion Of Sales Force Begins
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Many people know of the common symptoms of low thyroid hormone (also known ... people who find their cholesterol levels and weight are creeping up are more likely ... don’t have any of the other symptoms. , Thyroid hormone plays a major role ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis ... Care Plan software creates an agreement between the practice owner and the patient ... scheduling, monitoring, notification, and projections. Click here to learn more. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... Charitable giving is at its peak during the holidays. In ... of the year totalling over $358 billion in 2014. With more than 1.5 ... those individuals who want to “give back” during the holidays. , “With so many ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... national leaders when it comes to several aspects of orthopedic care. They have ... replacements, orthopedic surgeries and general orthopedic care. , Becker's Hospital Review selected ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Port Richey, FL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... it deems a growing epidemic as deaths from prescription opioids in the United States ... heroin and cocaine. In 2013 alone, opioids were involved in 37 percent of all ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 25, 2015 WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. ("WuXi" ... open-access R&D capability and technology platform company serving the ... China and the ... extraordinary general meeting of shareholders held today, the Company,s ... and approve the previously announced agreement and plan of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... N.C. , Nov. 24, 2015  In the ... projects in an effort to quickly uncover new insights, ... --> --> However, ... a market research project and ensure that all rules ... and industry standards. Another major barrier to efficiently launching ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Va. , Nov. 24, 2015  DILON Diagnostics ... have signed an agreement for DILON to distribute GE,s ... across the globe. The signing of this distribution agreement will ... NM750b Molecular Breast Imaging system and is considered an ... provide better healthcare solutions for clinicians and their patients. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: