Alabama Bans Chinese Catfish

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks announced a ban on the sale of catfish from China Thursday after antibiotics prohibited 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 the antibiotic fluoroquinolones, which the Food and Drug Administration banned from use in food-producing animals in 1997.

Agriculture department chemists also tested 13 samples of basa fish from Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, with five of the samples testing positive for antibiotics. Sparks said additional testing is required before a decision is made to ban basa fish.

Sparks said he will not lift the ban on Chinese catfish until he is convinced the problem is solved -- until there is no evidence the forbidden antibiotics are used.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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