"The official summary of one of these meetings has now been published. It would appear that members of this committee are recommending for testing of wider range of antibiotic residues in aquaculture products from India. There was no mention of a departure from the current 50 per cent testing of imports into the EU and, critically, there was no mention of a complete ban. Of course these three options cannot be completely ruled out but it is a good sign that they are not being discussed", said Ivan Bartolo, regulatory affairs advisor, Seafish which represents the UK seafood industry.
The findings (of the audit) were discussed with the member states who were advised to consider expanding their scope of testing of Indian aquaculture products, in particular for residues of antimicrobial substances. In addition to the already ongoing testing for chloramphenicol, tetracycline, oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline and metabolites of nitrofurans, focus should also be put on the testing of macrolides, aminoglycosides, beta-lactams including cephalosporins, lincosamides, diaminopyrimidines and doxycycline, read a report of the European Commission.
In 2016, EU had strengthened its inspection norms for aquaculture products sent from India after finding presence of antibiotics in them. Earlier, the norm was testing samples from at least 10 per cent of the consignments, which was enhanced to 50 per cent in 2016.
EU, after USA and South East Asia, is the third largest destination for Indian seafood with frozen shrimp continuing to be the major item of export.
The 28 member nation accounted for 15.77 per cent of US$ 7.08 worth of Indian seafood exports clocked in 2017-18.