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Hawaii - Food Safety - Drug Residue in Seafood


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“Each and every member of the food industry, from farm to fork, must create a culture where food safety and nutrition is paramount.” ~ Bill Marler, Esq.

“Each stage of the food supply chain that delivers food from farm to the dinner table is obligated to improve, or at a minimum not degrade, the food risk profile.”
~ Michael C. Robach Vice President Corporate Food Safety,
Quality & Regulatory Cargill, Incorporated

“We can’t inspect safety in our food supply. Instead we should work on building an organizational culture focused on driving improvements in food safety.”
~ Frank Yiannas, Vice President, Food Safety, Walmart

Published in: Food
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Hawaii - Food Safety - Drug Residue in Seafood

  1. 1. FOOD SAFETY DRUG RESIDUE IN SEAFOOD WILD-CAUGHT vs AQUACULTURE-RAISED IMPORTED SEAFOOD vs U.S. FISHERIES Three agencies do most of the work to protect the public from residue and microbial hazards: the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS); the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Source: Drug Residues and Microbial Contamination in Food: Monitoring and Enforcement. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Science. (1999) accessed October 11, 2017 _______________________ Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms; such as finfish, mollusks, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, turtles and aquatic plants. Aquaculture can occur in freshwater, coastal and marine environments, including: inland ponds, tanks, reservoirs, rivers, lakes, estuaries, bays, fjords, and open sea. Aquaculture is an important industry in many regions of the world. It supports global food and nutrition security by contributing to the reduction of poverty and improving the social wellbeing for millions of people worldwide. For more than 30 years increased aquaculture production has contributed to the overall global fisheries supply and helped sustain wild captured fisheries. Aquacultured and wild caught fish and shellfish are held to the same food safety standards to ensure that only safe and wholesome products are offered to consumers.
  2. 2. The FDA holds domestic and import producers to the same standard. All seafood processors, including processors of aquacultured products, must comply with FDA laws and regulations including the Seafood HACCP regulation. They are subject to FDA inspections and examinations at the port of entry. Adulterated products are not allowed to be sold in the U.S., and foreign processors that import a violative product into the U.S. market are placed on the detention without physical examination (also called an Import Alert). Five drugs are approved by the FDA for use in aquaculture. Another 4 are approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service for use in hatcheries that supply sport fishing (FWS 1994). The process for choosing which drugs to test involves using the same questions of hazard and exposure as used by FSIS but is much less formal. FDA monitoring of aquaculture products also is constrained by a lack of test methods. [Emphasis Supplied] Source: Aquacultured Seafood. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Accessed October 11, 2017 Use of unapproved drugs or misuse of approved drugs in aquacultured fish poses a potential human health hazard. These substances may be toxic, allergenic, or carcinogenic, and/or may cause antibiotic resistance in pathogens that affect humans.
  3. 3. To control this hazard, drugs for use in food animals, whether they are for direct medication or for addition to feed, generally must be approved, conditionally approved or index listed by FDA (Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act Section 512). Under certain conditions authorized by FDA, unapproved new animal drugs may be used in conformance with the terms of an Investigational New Animal Drug (INAD) application (21 CFR 511 and FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Guide 1240.3025). Off label use in animals of approved human or animal drugs is permissible in certain circumstances. Drugs on the Index of Legally Marketed Unapproved New Animal Drugs for Minor Species (the Index) may not be used in food animals except in early nonfood life stages of food producing minor species in certain circumstances. Reasons for the use of drugs in aquaculture include the need to (1) treat and prevent disease, (2) control parasites, (3) affect reproduction and growth, and (4) provide tranquilization (e.g., for weighing). Relatively few drugs have been approved for aquaculture. This factor may lead to the inappropriate use of unapproved drugs, general-purpose chemicals, or approved drugs in a manner that deviates from the labeled instructions. Source: Aquaculture Drugs. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Accessed October 11, 2017. Approved Aquaculture Drugs – FDA – May 24, 2017
  4. 4. U.S. General Accounting Office (2017) Imported Seafood Safety Published: September 15, 2017 Publicly Released: October 2, 2017 Ninety percent of the seafood eaten in the United States is imported, and about half of that is raised on fish farms. Farmers may treat fish with antibiotics and other drugs because these fish can be susceptible to infections. Misuse of drugs can leave residues in seafood that cause health problems for consumers. We looked at how the two agencies charged with ensuring seafood safety protect against unsafe drug residues, and made five recommendations to strengthen their efforts. For example, agencies could require foreign governments to do more testing for these drug residues. _________________________ AQUACULTUE IN HAWAII About 63 percent of seafood consumed in Hawaii is imported including from the U.S. mainland according to a 2010 study. The U.S. imports 86 percent of its seafood and the seafood trade deficit has grown to $10.4 billion annually. U.S. aquaculture accounts for just 5 percent of Americans’ seafood consumption. The high level of imports exposes us to the vulnerability of volatile prices in the international market, as well as to variability in the food safety practices and health standards of exporting countries.
  5. 5. Hawaii is fortunate to be a world center of aquaculture expertise in a wide variety of species and technologies. Public and private research organizations have pioneered the development of extensive, semi- intensive and intensive culture systems and regularly consult around the world. Local entities have extensive expertise in the spawning and rearing of mullet, milkfish, freshwater prawns, marine finfish, and marine shrimp. Several companies specialize in the production and sale of certified disease-free shrimp broodstock and seedstock, and oyster and clam seed stock. In addition, Hawaii is home to leading technology companies in microalgae and seaweed production. The level of cooperation between researchers, extension personnel and commercial producers in the local community is exceptional. Source: State of Hawaii. Department of Agriculture. ______________________________ STATE OF HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH FOOD & DRUG BRANCH As of July 1, 2015 the Food and Drug Branch has been consolidated with the Sanitation Branch and is no longer a separate program within the Department of Health. Please refer to the Sanitation Branch web-page: