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Ministries Increase Control and Quality of Fish

BRAZIL - Sanitary products and processes related to fish and shellfish in Brazil will be enhanced with the launch of two new instruments: the National Hygiene and Sanitary Control of Bivalve Molluscs (PNCMB) and the National Network of Laboratories of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Renaqua).

The ministerial statement on the creation of PNCMB was signed by Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Mendes Ribeiro Filho, and the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Marcelo Crivella on Tuesday 8 May.

"We are giving priority to a request from President Dilma, which is to improve the quality of the product that reaches the tables of Brazilians. Measures such as these give peace to all, because we are taking care of what is produced in our country," said Mr Ribeiro.

With better sanitary control, fish consumers will be assured of healthier products and better quality, both imported and produced in Brazil. The entire production chain of fish will benefit from the tighter control, which will produce safer food and certified by accepted standards worldwide.

The PNCMB will monitor the entire production sector for human consumption. The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA) will monitor and survey areas of cultivation and extraction of shellfish (oysters, mussels, cockles and vieras, among others). The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) will have the task of defining criteria for the hygienic-sanitary industrial processing and inspecting the establishments linked to the Federal Inspection Service (SIF). The programme will take effect 30 days after its publication in the Official Gazette (DOU), scheduled for next week.

The Renaqua perform official analyses and diagnoses as well as the continued development of new methodologies for examination of diseases, residues and contaminants. The network is structured with international quality standards, established by the ISO standard 17025, and health programmes will support the MPA. Initially, four laboratories, public research institutions, teaching and outreach and executive bodies of state animal health advocacy integrate the system: the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), State University of Maranho (UEMA), the Federal Institute Santa Catarina (IFSC) and the Integrated Agricultural Development Company of Santa Catarina (Cidasc).

Lucy Towers

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