Efforts to eliminate chloramphenicol working, says GAA's Chamberlain

GAA President George Chamberlain told Annual Shrimp Forum attendees that industry efforts to eliminate the antibiotic chloramphenicol from shrimp production are working
April 25, 2003

GAA President George Chamberlain told the 75 participants of the Annual Shrimp Forum at the International Boston Seafood Show that industry efforts to eliminate the antibiotic chloramphenicol from shrimp production are working, but a risk analysis for the drug is still needed.

Chamberlain reviewed a recent study conducted by the Seafood Importers and Processors Alliance in Europe in which samples of a wide variety of nonshrimp foods were tested for chloramphenicol. He pointed out that although initial screening using Ridascreen testing turned up many positive results, further analysis using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC/MS) produced negative results. However, the GC/MS analysis used a lower limit of only 1 ppb and thus did not eliminate the possibility that trace levels of chloramphenicol might still exist.

Chamberlain said that although a risk analysis is needed to determine tolerable daily intake levels, the aquaculture industry must assume that any chloramphenicol in shrimp is not from natural sources and therefore must have been added somewhere in the production process. International markets cannot condone the importation of products contaminated by antibiotic residues, so the aquaculture industry must demonstrate its commitment to remove antibiotics from the culture process.

Chamberlain said industry action to eliminate chloramphenicol use is working. For example, one major buyer of Asian shrimp tested over 2,600 samples for chloramphenicol and found only one positive result.

Peter Redmayne of the Sea Fare Group moderated the Annual Shrimp Forum. The meeting was structured as a panel with seven speakers: David Gautier, Pascagoula Ice; Greg Rushford, The Rushford Report; Antonio Diaz, Ocean Garden; Ram Avasarala, Avasarala Inc.; Eddie Gordon, Southern Shrimp Alliance; Wally Stevens, Slade Gorton; and Chamberlain.