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50% threadfin fish fail drug residue checks

2012/07/03 22:01:47

Taipei, July 3 (CNA) As much as 50 percent of East Asian fourfinger threadfin failed recent checks for drug residue, with some found to contain the antibiotic sulfonamide, health officials said Tuesday.

The Food and Drug Administration under the Department of Health said it examined 67 aquatic products in May and found nine of them failed the standards set for veterinary drug residue limits in food.

Of the 67, 16 were threadfin products and eight of them failed the tests, the agency said.

Five of the eight substandard threadfin products contained sulfonamides, while the other three contained leucomalachite green, a metabolite of malachite green, which is a synthetic dye, it added.

Lin Chieh-liang, director of the toxicology department at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou, said excessive consumption of leucomalachite green can lead to liver damage and deformities in children.

Consuming high amounts of sulfonamides can cause anemia and low platelet count, or conditions as serious as kidney failure and uremia, Lin added.

He added, however, that the amounts of the antibiotic found in the fish were small and that there is no need for panic.

Members of the public concerned about sulfonamide residue should avoid eating the heads, internal organs and bone marrow of aquatic products, he said.

(By Lung Jui-yun and Jamie Wang)