Yangmei tainted trout case sparks battle of words

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
4 September 2007, at 1:00am

TAIPEI - A case of trout tainted with a banned antibiotic has Council of Agriculture (COA) and Department of Health (DOH) officials sniping at each other in the media.

On Sunday, the DOH said random tests of aquaculture products had showed that a trout sold in a Yangmei area store contained as much as 1.094 parts per million of nitrofuran, a suspected carcinogen.

The China Times quoted an unnamed COA official yesterday as saying that the DOH had not informed the COA of the matter quickly enough to ensure that the supplier of the tainted fish could be properly investigated.

Instead, the fisheries agency was unaware of the incident until media reports surfaced, the official said.

The DOH responded to the allegations in a press release yesterday, saying that the agricultural authorities had been appropriately apprised of the matter.

It also said that "the agricultural authorities are the first line of defense in managing aquaculture businesses. There is room for improvement in ensuring that testing is done before the product reaches the shelves."

Both the DOH and the COA test for banned antibiotics, but each is responsible for a different part of the supply chain. The COA tests fish, plants and animals while they are still on farms or other production facilities, while the DOH tests food once it reaches points of sale.

Source: Taipei Times

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