US authorities try to overturn China’s shellfish-import ban

December 16, 2013, 4:55 pm

US authorities are trying to overturn China’s decision to ban imports of geoducks and other bivalve mollusks from the West Coast of the US after find out that two shipments of geoducks contained PSP levels higher than the Chinese allow, reports The Seattle Times.

On Dec. 13, the governor and commissioner of public lands Peter Goldmark sent a letter to the heads of the Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to engage in “direct interaction with the Chinese government” to determine the status of the ban and to gather information about the Chinese inspection.

Tests by the Washington state department of health in the area where the geoduck shipments originated found PSP levels below internationally accepted limits, also Geoduck harvesters believe the Chinese inspectors applied a standard for the level of toxicity that is well below what is considered safe for humans.

In the meantime, the Chinese government has not reported anything else since the official notification released on Dec. 3., which has pushed politicians to intercede to solve the issue.

The US harvests around 5.5 million to 7m pounds of geoduck annually, Taylor Shellfish Farms, one of the state’s largest geoduck providers, told The Seattle Times.

China accounts for about 90% of geoduck exports from the state. Geoduck sales price ranges between $7 and $25 a pound.

Read the full story here.

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