Customs officials have seized 6,400kg of live Chinese mitten crabs at the border after the batch was found to contain excess levels of dioxins, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday.
It was the first such seizure in two years, the agency said.
The crabs, imported by Shuo Hsuan International Trading Ltd, was found to contain dioxin at a level of 10.4 picograms per gram (pg/g) wet weight, and dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs) of 10.8pg/g wet weight.
Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration
The levels are much higher than the permissible level of dioxin at 3.5pg/g wet weight, and combined permissible total for dioxins and DL-PCBs at 6.5pg/g wet weight, FDA Northern Center head Chen Ching-yu (陳慶裕) told reporters.
As part of its efforts to step up inspections at the source, the FDA indefinitely suspended applications for import inspections by the aquafarm in Shandong Province where the crabs came from, effective immediately.
Since October last year, the customs has rejected 25 shipments of mitten crabs from China as a result of batch-by-batch inspections at the border, Chen said.
Also on the FDA’s 17-item list of seized items were white rice from India, mandarins from South Korea, sea urchin gastrulas from Mexico and fresh strawberries from Japan.
The substandard or polluted food shipments have been destroyed or returned to their country of origin, Chen said.
Last month, six shipments of fresh strawberries imported from Japan by Chuan Yong Fruit Co Ltd were found to contain two pesticides — flonicamid and cyantraniliprole, traces of which are not permitted in strawberries in Taiwan.
Imports of fresh Japanese strawberries have been subject to a 20 to 50 percent random inspection rate since early last year, when such shipments were frequently found to contain high levels of pesticide residue.
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