2003 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Gollott, Hewes, Dawkins
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE CONCERN OF THE LEGISLATURE OVER THE PRESENCE OF CHLORAMPHENICOL AND OTHER BANNED VETERINARY DRUGS IN IMPORTED SHRIMP AND URGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE IMMEDIATE AND FOCUSED EFFORTS TO IMPROVE ENFORCEMENT OF FOOD IMPORT RESTRICTIONS OF SEAFOOD IMPORTS IN ORDER TO PROTECT UNITED STATES CONSUMERS AND ENSURE SAFETY OF THE FOOD SUPPLY.
WHEREAS, chloramphenical, a potent antibiotic, can cause severe toxic effects in humans, including hypo-aplastic anemia, which is usually irreversible and fatal; and
WHEREAS, because of these human health impacts, chloramphenical, nitrofurans and similar veterinary drugs are not approved for use in food-producing animals in the United States; and
WHEREAS, other countries have been found to use these drugs in the aquaculture of shrimp and other seafood, including Thailand, Vietnam and China; and
WHEREAS, the nation imports over 400,000 metric tons of shrimp annually, and Thailand and Vietnam are the top two exporters of shrimp to the United States, and China is the fifth largest exporter of shrimp to the United States; and
WHEREAS, upon detection of chloramphenical, using testing protocols that can detect such substances to 0.3 parts per billion in certain shipments of seafood from China and other nations, in 2002, the European Union and Canada severely restricted imports of shrimp and other food from these nations; and
WHEREAS, the United States Food and Drug Administration inspects only 2% of all seafood imports into the United States and utilizes a testing procedure that cannot detect the presence of chloramphenical below one part per billion; and
WHEREAS, Food and Drug Administration import testing did not detect chloramphenical in shrimp imported from these nations in 2002, independent testing performed by or for the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas detected chloramphenical in samples of imported shrimp from China and other countries at levels harmful to human health; and
WHEREAS, imports of seafood from nations that utilize substances banned in the United States, such as chloramphenical, nitrofurans and other veterinary drugs, pose potential threats to United States consumers; and
WHEREAS, denial of entry to contaminated shrimp and other products to the European Union and Canada will likely redirect imports to the United States of contaminated products turned away from these countries:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby express our concern about the presence of chloramphenical, nitrofurans and other veterinary drugs in imported shrimp and its potential impact on the safety of the food supply and urge the immediate and focused actions by the federal government to improve enforcement of food import restrictions of seafood imports containing chloramphenical, nitrofurans and other banned veterinary drugs in order to protect United States consumers and ensure safety of the food supply.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to President George W. Bush, all members of the Mississippi Congressional Delegation, Dr. Lester M. Crawford, Deputy Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Joseph A. Levitt, Director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.