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IP/02/436

Brussels, 19 March 2002

Increased testing for antibiotic residues on imports from Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar

The Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health has given a favourable opinion to a European Commission proposal to increase testing for antibiotic residues on imports of shrimp from Vietnam and Myanmar and on both shrimp and poultry imported from Thailand.

The results of recent control checks carried out by Member States on imports of fish and poultry have revealed the presence of Nitrofuran residues on shrimps imported from Vietnam and on shrimps and poultry imported from Thailand. Control checks on shrimps imported from Myanmar revealed the presence of Chloramphenicol residues. Nitrofurans are veterinary drugs whose use in food producing animals is no longer allowed in the EU because of health concerns, including a possible increased risk of cancer in humans through long term consumption. Chloramphenicol is a potent, broad-spectrum antibiotic drug, which has been banned for use in food producing animals in the EU since 1994. It is used in human medicine only in serious situations.

The Commission proposal requires Member States to test all consignments of shrimps from Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand and all consignments of poultry from Thailand for residues. The results are to be notified to the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed.

The decisions will be reviewed in the light of information provided by the competent authorities of the countries concerned and on the basis of the results of the tests carried out by the Member States. They will enter into force as soon as the Commission has adopted them in the next few days.


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