People of Northwest Public Radio
Shellfish Import Ban
Fri March 14, 2014
Chinese and U.S. Officials To Discuss China's Shellfish Import Ban
China banned shellfish imports from most of the West Coast in December over concerns about contamination.
The move has cost the shellfish industry in Washington hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But there are signs of a thaw in the icy trade relations.
Chinese officials have agreed to meet with U.S. officials to discuss China’s shellfish import ban.
On March 21st representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be in Beijing.
They’ll be discussing China’s remaining concerns about shellfish imports from the U.S. West Coast.
China instituted the ban when officials found high levels of arsenic and a naturally occurring biotoxin in two samples of geoduck.
The shellfish with high levels of biotoxin came from Ketchikan, Alaska.
The shellfish contaminated with arsenic were harvested near the site of the Tacoma Copper Smelter in southern Puget Sound.
The smelter was in operation for 100 years and shellfish beds nearby were closed until 2007.
The state Department of Health did some follow up testing on geoduck from the area and says the shellfish are safe to eat.
Copyright 2014 KUOW
Shellfish Toxin Levels