Indian Shrimp Refusals for Antibiotics This Year Match Record Year for China Shrimp Refusals

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recently released information regarding entry line refusals for the month of November.  The cumulative data released by the FDA for 2016 indicates that refusals of entry lines of Indian shrimp for antibiotics is equal to the highest number of entry lines of Chinese shrimp for antibiotics ever reported in a year.
Farmed shrimp from China is subject to a country-wide Import Alert issued by the FDA.  Farmed shrimp from India is not.
The FDA’s reporting of import refusals has changed over the last several months such that new information released has not covered all refusals made in the prior month.  For example, the FDA recently released information regarding 86 refusals of seafood entry lines in November.  None of these refusals are reported to have occurred after November 22nd.
Further, a comparison of initial reporting of seafood entry line refusals to the refusal information currently reported by the FDA indicates that the agency’s initial reporting has been subsequently adjusted.  The table below compares the initial amount of seafood entry line refusals reported for most of this year with the amount of seafood entry line refusals currently reported by the FDA:
Seafood Entry Line Refusals Initially Reported
Seafood Entry Line Refusals Currently Reported
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
The apparent revisions in the FDA’s reporting have led the Southern Shrimp Alliance to review compilations of entry line refusal information for past years.  This review indicates that prior reporting significantly underreported the number of entry lines refused for reasons related to banned antibiotics in 2015 and 2016.  In 2015, the FDA refused 404 total entry lines of shrimp for banned antibiotics, with 312 of these refusals (77.2%) tied to shipments of Malaysian shrimp.

This year, as the table below indicates, the FDA has refused 128 entry lines of shrimp for banned antibiotics – the third highest annual number of refusals since 2002.

Shrimp entry line refusals of banned antibiotics in 2016 have been driven by shipments of Indian shrimp, which account for 74.2% of all such refusals.  In total, 95 entry lines of shrimp from India have been refused this year because of banned antibiotics:

The number of Indian shrimp entry lines being refused for banned antibiotics is unprecedented and, for 2016, now matches the highest number of entry line refusals of Chinese shrimp for antibiotics in a single year:

The FDA’s reporting does not include an explanation as to the reasons for the substantial spike in Indian shrimp entry line refusals for antibiotics this year.  Nor does a review of the FDA’s Import Alerts indicate a particular concern regarding banned antibiotics in Indian shrimp.
There are no Indian shippers currently listed on Import Alert 16-124 (“Detention Without Physical Examination of Aquaculture Seafood Products Due to Unapproved Drugs”) or Import Alert 16-127 (“Detention Without Physical Examination of Crustaceans Due to Chloramphenicol”).  And there are only six Indian shippers currently listed on Import Alert 16-129 (“Detention Without Physical Examination of Seafood Products Due to Nitrofurans”):  Five Star Marine Exports Private Limited (listed twice at two different addresses); Mangala Sea Products; RDR Exports; RVR Marine Products Ltd.; and Sharat Industries.  Jagadeesh Marine Exports, a company that accounts for 68 of the 95 Indian shrimp refusals for banned antibiotics this year (with a refusal most recently reported in September), is not currently listed on any Import Alert related to banned antibiotics.
Nevertheless, the FDA’s reporting indicates that India is, far and away, now the single largest source of shrimp contaminated with banned antibiotics in the U.S. market.  The FDA’s reporting further indicates that the sheer number of shrimp entry line refusals of Indian shrimp for reasons related to banned antibiotics is unprecedented.

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