FDA refuses double the number of shrimp imports for antibiotic contamination in 2021

The logo for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Although the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) seafood import refusals dropped significantly in December, they surged for the year of 2021.

Last year, the FDA refused 75 entry lines of antibiotic-contaminated shrimp, over twice as many entry lines refused in 2020, according to the Southern Shrimp Alliance.

The 2021 refusals were the highest number of entry line refusals for antibiotic contamination since 2016.

However, in December, the FDA only refused 1 shrimp shipment for antibiotics and 36 total seafood shipments.

The total number of seafood entry lines refused by the agency in December was less than one-quarter of the historic average for the month.

“In the 20 years prior to last month, the FDA averaged over 147 entry lines of seafood in December,” the SSA said. “The incredible decline in the FDA’s refusal of seafood entry lines comes at a time when the United States is importing seafood at record levels.”

The total value of seafood imported under Chapter 3 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) reached USD 18.2 billion (EUR 16 bilion) from January through October 2021, up 32 percent from same time period in 2020.

The two shrimp entry lines that the FDA refused in November and December over antibiotic contamination were from Lee Fung Marine Products Trading in Hong Kong and Oceanbest (M) Sdn. Bhd in Malaysia.


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