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Federal Government Revises its Approach to Malachite Green in Aquacultured Fish and Fish Products

CANADA - Health Canada has recently conducted a scientific assessment to determine the nature of risk to public health associated with the presence of trace amounts of malachite green and its metabolite, leucomalachite green, in fish products.

Federal Government Revises its Approach to Malachite Green in Aquacultured Fish and Fish Products - CANADA - Health Canada has recently conducted a scientific assessment to determine the nature of risk to public health associated with the presence of trace amounts of malachite green and its metabolite, leucomalachite green, in fish products.

Health Canada is advising the public that the probability of serious adverse health consequences associated with the daily consumption of fish containing trace amounts of malachite green and leucomalachite green is remote.

Based on Health Canada's assessment, and the possibility that malachite green may be an unavoidable contaminant, Health Canada is advising that, on an interim basis, fish containing malachite green and leucomalachite green residues of 1.0 part per billion (ppb) or less may be allowed for sale in Canada provided that an investigation rules out intentional use of malachite green in the fish production lifecycle.

Fish products containing malachite green or leucomalachite green at levels above 1.0 ppb will not be allowed for sale in Canada. The interim guideline applies equally to imported and domestic products.

Since it is unclear to what extent malachite green may be an unavoidable contaminant, further investigation into possible sources is required and will be conducted. Until such time as adequate scientific data can be generated through research and sampling, this approach remains an interim one.

This approach will enhance compliance with Health Canada's policy for zero-tolerance for deliberate use of malachite green in food-fish and acknowledges the remoteness of health risks associated with the consumption of trace amounts of malachite green and leucomalachite green. It also ensures that a safe and nutritious supply of fish remains on the market for Canadians.

Malachite Green is only approved in Canada for use in aquarium fish. It is not approved for use in fish intended for human consumptions.

Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency - 3rd April 2006

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