South Korea has suspended the import of heat-processed duck meat from China following the discovery of a potentially harmful antimicrobial substance in a shipment of the meat.
The National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS) said it found 1.0 parts per bln of Chloramphenicol in a 3.8 t shipment of duck meat from a Chinese meat exporter, reports Yonhap news agency.
The ban will be imposed until Henan Huangchuan Huaying Poultry Corporation-Meat Products Co. can determine the exact cause of the contamination and ensure that tainted meat is not shipped to S. Korea in the future.
Because the meat packer is the only company that ships heat-processed duck meat to the region, the ban will effectively halt all imports of the product. This year, the company shipped 363 t worth of duck meat.
NVRQS added that for products that are already in transit, no quarantine inspections will be carried out, while the 190 tons that are held in customs must undergo detailed examinations to check for any traces of the drug.
Yohap reports that Chloramphenicol is used to treat human patients, but has been banned from livestock use since 1991 because it can cause aplastic anemia, which is a condition that occurs when your body stops producing enough new blood cells. There is no known cure for the condition, and it is almost always fatal and can affect people weeks and months after having been exposed to the drug.
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