Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

China Bans Shellfish From U.S. West Coast for Arsenic and Toxin Levels

China has suspended imports of shellfish from the West Coast of the United States after finding  high levels of arsenic and a toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning in recent shipments of geoduck clams from Northwest waters.

The indefinite ban affects clams, oysters and all other two-shelled bivalves harvested off the coast of Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Northern California.

U.S. officials think the contaminated clams were harvested in Washington or Alaska and are waiting to hear back from Chinese officials for more details to help identify the exact source.

Many are concerned about the economic implications of the ban. The U.S. exported $68 million worth of geoduck clams in 2012 – most of which came from Washington’s Puget Sound and almost 90 percent of that went to China.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is negotiating with the Chinese government about how to reopen shellfish trade, but the ban could last for months. NOAA stopped issuing certification for shellfish exports last Friday.

© Food Safety News
  • saireygamp

    Keep dumping stuff in the bays, using sevin to control crabs around the oysters, dump other toxins and our products won’t be welcome anywhere. Same goes for gmo wheat and alfalfa,

  • Peter O
  • http://www.beaksandnoses.net/ beaks

    IMO there is very little here that can be eaten without arsenic, GMO’s and other foreign substances.

  • Ruth Kevghas

    Can we do more lead and arsenic testing on what they send to us?

    • sb0223

      You think US is less picky on China’s product than China is on US? Get out.

      • G

        The two are probably very similar; I think we do a better job. FSMA roll-out here we go.

  • Ajrcep

    Contaminates might be originating from Chinese environmental unfriendly practices…hmmmm?

  • man

    The U.S. should ban China’s apple juice. It has arsenic.