Putrajaya says US rejection of prawn imports lower thanks to tight controls

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam pointed out that the FDA’s April 18 alert on prawn imports from Malaysia referred only to imports from the peninsula, not Sabah and Sarawak. — File pic
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam pointed out that the FDA’s April 18 alert on prawn imports from Malaysia referred only to imports from the peninsula, not Sabah and Sarawak. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — US’ rejection of prawns from Malaysia has decreased following Putrajaya’s tight control on its exports, the Health Ministry said today after the US warned of residual banned antibiotics.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the Malaysian government was similarly notified last May about the US increasingly rejecting prawn imports from Malaysia for allegedly containing traces of substances banned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“We worked with various agencies and industries to implement a control system for exporting prawns to America, which includes increased control on raw material import, aquaculture farm’s registration and the necessary Health Certificate,” he said in a statement.

“This control system is fully implemented on September last year and the result is that Malaysia successfully reduced the rejection of prawn exports to America with only two rejections in September 2015, compared to 66 in August the same year.”

Subramaniam also pointed out that the FDA’s April 18 alert on prawn imports from Malaysia, in which the imports were slapped with a “detention without physical examination”, referred only to imports from the peninsula, not Sabah and Sarawak.

Today Online reported earlier that the Singapore authorities found no traces of banned antibiotics in prawns imported from Malaysia, despite FDA saying that their testing found “approximately one-third of imports from peninsular Malaysia contained residues of nitrofurans and/or chloramphenicol”.

The Singapore daily also reported FDA as saying it tested 138 samples of prawns and shrimps from peninsular Malaysia in between October 1, 2014, and September 30 last year and found that 45 of them contained residues of the banned antibiotics. 

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