1998N-0359 - Program Priorities in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nurtrition; Request for Comments
FDA Comment Number : EC114
Submitter : Miss. Karen Correa Date & Time: 07/28/2004 05:07:14
Organization : GRACE
Other Organization
Category :
Issue Areas/Comments
GENERAL
GENERAL
I am writing to provide input on the program priorities for the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) for fiscal year (FY) 2005. Many public health concerns exist concerning imported farm raised shrimp. I recommend that the Food and Drug Administration should prioritize inspections of imported shrimp for FY 2005.

Approximately 80 percent of the shrimp consumed in the United States is imported, over half of which is farmed raised. Some chemicals, such as chloramphenicol and nitrofurons, are used around the world to raise shrimp in coastal farms for exportation to the United States. Chloramphenicol is linked to human aplastic anemia, intestinal problems, and neurological reactions; nitrofurons have been found to be carcinogenic. As you know, these chemicals are actually banned by FDA.

Imported shrimp inspections fall under the FY 2004 workplan, and should be included in the FY 2005 workplan as well. Imported shrimp inspections uphold the FDA's domestic health standards, as well as ensure international compliance with U.S. food safety rules. In order to guarantee that imported shrimp is safe for American consumers and that it adheres to the current FDA guidelines on chemical usage in foods, shrimp inspection should be a priority, and placed on the FDA CFSAN 'A-list' for FY 2005.

I urge the FDA to recognize its mandate of ensuring a safe food supply by prioritizing imported shrimp inspections and taking the following steps:

1. For one year, inspect 100% of shrimp imported into the United States for banned chemicals, such as chloramphenicol and nitrofurons. This will allow the FDA to better understand the extent of the problem.

2. Once the year of 100% testing is complete, the agency should devise a testing program for imported farm raised shrimp that is based on the prevalence of banned chemicals found during the total testing period.

3. If shrimp entering the U.S. is detected with residues of banned chemicals, the contaminated shrimp must be destroyed, rather than dumped back on consumers in the country of origin or used in animal feed.

Sincerely Yours,

Karen Correa