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Ag. Commissioner bans sale of Chinese catfish in Alabama

MONTGOMERY (AP)— Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks on Wednesday announced a stop sale order in the state for all catfish from China after antibiotics banned in the United States were found in Chinese catfish.

Sparks said 20 samples of catfish from China were collected for testing by the department of agriculture over the last few weeks.

Of those samples, 14 tested positive for fluoroquinolones, an antibiotic banned by the FDA since 1997.

“We are sending notice today that we are not going to continue to sit by and let these foreign countries produce their food at a different standard than we ask our farmers to produce by and then send those products in here at a cheaper price,” Sparks said.

Agriculture department chemists also tested 13 samples of basa fish from Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, with five of the samples testing positive for antibiotics.

Sparks said additional testing is required before a decision is made whether to ban basa fish.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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