Japan inspect 100% of shrimp from Vietnam to detect Trifluralin

On November 11, 2010, after finding three batches of Vietnamese shrimp that contained trifluralinTrifuralin structure, an herbicide, Japanese authorities began inspecting 100% of Vietnamese shrimp imports.  Truong Dinh Hoe, secretary general of Vietnam’s seafood exporters association, said Japan had already been inspecting 30 percent of Vietnamese shrimp imports after a warning about trifluralin early in 2010.  Hoe said Japanese companies were dropping the price they offered for Vietnamese shrimp or turning to other countries for supplies!

Trifluralin is a widely used herbicide that, in large doses, can cause cancer in animals.  In April 2010, Vietnam banned its use in aquaculture, but it is unclear how well that order is being enforced, and residues can remain in the soil for many months.

So far in 2010, Japan has imported about 40,000 tons of Vietnamese tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon).

The Vietnamese state-run newspaper Lao Dong quoted Ngo Van Nga, director of the Quoc Viet Seafood Processing Co, as saying complete quality control of Vietnamese shrimp was impossible because each container holds shrimp from many different ponds.  “If they decide to check 100 percent of Vietnam’s shrimp, no one knows what will happen,” Nga said.  “When they are rejected, companies lose $10,000 per container on expenses like transport and storage.”

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