Judge to Odom: stop seizing seafood imports for tests

From staff and wire reports

August 08, 2007 at 10:47 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

BATON ROUGE - The state agriculture commissioner must stop confiscating imported seafood for antibiotic testing until a judge decides whether that is a job only for the health department.

State District Judge William Morvant handed down a preliminary order last week against such inspections by Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Bob Odom, saying several laws give the state Department of Health and Hospitals jurisdiction over such matters.

Odom expressed considerable disappointment in the ruling, “My warning is this: consumers beware. In this new situation, if the seafood you are eating is imported from China or certain other countries it could be more likely to contain substances banned by the FDA.”

“Louisiana is a leader in protecting consumers from adulterated food. We stopped the sale of suspect Chinese seafood because of possible fluoroquinolone contamination almost two months before the FDA followed suit. The testing of that food revealed that some of the suspect seafood was, in fact, adulterated with fluoroquinolones and chloramphenicol.

Prior to the ruling, inspectors from the Department of Agriculture and Forestry routinely visited retail locations and cold storage facilities to make sure the testing was being conducted and the seafood was free of any banned substances before the product was released into the market place.

 




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