FDA warns Vietnam about banned substances in fish imports

JACKSON — The Food and Drug Administration recently warned Vietnam about a rise in banned substances found in seafood imported into the U.S., according to The Catfish Institute.

The Institute reports the warning comes on the heels of significant increases in FDA import refusals of Vietnamese seafood shipments, which jumped from 12 refusals in March to 20 refusals in April.

According to the Institute, Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of pangasius, the catfish-like species often sold in the U.S. as basa and swap. During January through April 2012, the United States imported 67,736,492 pounds of frozen pangasius fillets from Vietnam, up from 46,616,619 pounds during the same period last year. The FDA only inspects about two percent of all US seafood imports.

Australia, Canada and Japan have also warned Vietnam on tainted seafood, the Institute reports.

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