China bans US west coast shellfish imports
By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 13 December, 2013
China has closed its doors to all imports of West coast shellfish. Chinese officials tested samples of geoduck clams and found elevated levels of arsenic and a toxin that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning.
U.S. officials believe the contaminated clams were harvested in Washington or Alaska. Right now they’re waiting to hear back from Chinese officials for more details that will help them identify the exact source. But until further notice, China’s not accepting any shellfish harvested from California to Alaska. Jerry Borchert is in charge of monitoring toxins in shellfish for the Washington Department of Health. He says China’s actions are unusual.
Borchert: “They’ve never done anything like that that I’ve ever seen since I’ve been here where they would not allow shellfish from this entire area based on potentially two areas or maybe just one area, we don’t really know yet.”