KUALA LUMPUR: Local prawn farmers are livid, saying shrimp found with traces of banned antibiotics were not coming from their farms.
Rather, they are coming from neighbouring countries that are using illicit exporters and Malaysia’s certificate of origin in order to get into the United States.
Malaysian Shrimp Industry Association (MSIA) Syed Omar Syed Jaafar said that none of the 760 prawn farmers here were rearing them using antibiotics.
“We have our code of practice, we never used antibiotics. What’s happening here is the shrimp the United States is getting are from transhipments from China, Vietnam or India.
“There have been reports that shrimp from there have tested positive for the antibiotics. So recently when they were shipped to Japan they were rejected.
“So they are working together with some irresponsible traders in Malaysia; they bring their shrimp here to get the Malaysian certificate of origin and then re-export them to the US,” Syed Omar said.
This is not the first time allegations of antibiotics residue in Malaysian prawns has been brought up, he said. Farmers had raised the issue of re-exported prawns after the European Union also issued an import alert on the seafood here in 2003.
However, he claimed nothing was done to bring these illicit Malaysian traders to book.
He called on the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries and the Fisheries Department to take over the COO approval process for seafood here.
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