Statement on U.S. FDA Inspection of Chilean Seafood Facilities

Contact: Dave Bard, 202.486.4426


Washington, DC - 04/17/2008 - Statement of Andrea Kavanagh, manager, marine aquaculture campaign, Pew Environment Group, on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspecting Chilean seafood facilities:

As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Protection Plan, agency officials will inspect five Chilean seafood plants, starting this Friday, to gather data on chemical use and to assess Chile’s overall controls on its farmed salmon industry.

“The public needs to know what type of tests the Chilean government and its national fisheries service, Sernapesca, conduct on farmed salmon and how many samples of Chilean farmed salmon are tested annually. In contrast with Norway and Scotland, two of the world’s largest producers of farmed salmon, Chile has not been forthcoming with adequate data on the amount of antibiotics, antifoulants and other chemicals used, mortalities, waste emissions and sea lice loads.

“Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Protection Plan is designed to provide ‘an integrated strategy for protecting the nation’s food supply,’ it should further scrutinize the Chilean salmon farming industry. In 2007, the United States imported 114,320 net tons of salmon from Chile, but the U.S. FDA only tested 40 samples. To get more accurate data, the FDA needs a much larger sampling size and should test for a wider range of chemicals and antibiotics including Emamectin benzoate and Amphenicols.

“It’s our hope that the U.S. FDA and the Chilean government will combine their efforts to provide adequate oversight attention ensuring that Chilean farmed salmon is safe for the U.S. market and the marine environment.”

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