Prohibited substance found in shrimp exports to Japan again

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
7 March 2007, at 12:00am

VIET NAM - Earlier this week, two consignments of common tiger prawns exported to Japan have been found as containing the prohibited substance, AOZ - a derivative of Nitrofuran.

The discovery of AOZ in the shrimp exports has raised the concern that Vietnamese seafood exporters may lose the big and very important market. It has prompted the Japanese authorities to reinforce the examination over the shrimp products sourced from Vietnam and Indonesia.

The Shrimp Sub-committee under the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has given warning about the new risks from the Japanese market. Tran Thien Hai, Chairman of the sub-committee informed that Japan has begun inspecting the AOZ content left in shrimp products, describing the situation as ‘very serious’.

At the end of the last year, after discovering the anti-biotic residues in Vietnam-sourced shrimp products at the high levels, Japan promptly decided to examine 100% of the import consignments. Japanese authorities have also threatened to stop importing shrimp from Vietnam if they can find out anti-biotic residues in the next import consignments. The situation has been improved in the last time, before Japan discovered AOZ.

Mr Hai has warned that if Japan discovers AOZ or Chloramphenicol in other batches of shrimp, the door to the Japanese market will be closed and Vietnam will surely lose the market.

The Shrimp Sub-committee said that the food and medicine for shrimp may be the sources of prohibited substances. Besides, the sub-committee thinks that it is also because of the use of Nitrofuran in shrimp preservation as the alternative for Chloramphenicol at the preliminary treatment establishments.