China extends ban on shellfish
A letter from the Chinese government says a ban of shellfish imports from the U.S. West Coast will continue indefinitely.
The Kitsap Sun reports the letter was sent to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and raises new question about U.S. health standards for shellfish.
The letter dashes hopes of shellfish harvesters in Washington who had hoped the ban would be lifted quickly after U.S. representatives submitted new information about safety standards along with test results that showed geoducks were safe.
The letter from China clarifies the testing procedure used by Chinese authorities who found high levels of paralytic shellfish poison in geoducks harvested in Alaska. PSP, a neurotoxin produced by a type of plankton, can accumulate in shellfish.
Previously, Chinese officials reported finding unacceptable levels of arsenic in geoducks originating from Poverty Bay in South Puget Sound.