Japan to resolve chemical issue in Indian shrimps export

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Japan will seek to resolve by this year-end the issue of problems faced by Indian marine exporters regarding Ethoxyquin levels in shrimps, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi assured Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma at a meeting here Thursday.

Sharma urged the Japanese Minister that the matter needed to be "expedited by Japan within a specific time frame" as "the standards in India meet that in other sensitive markets like EU".

Motegi assured Sharma: "We have received the request. The concerned agencies are engaged with the same. They have been asked to look into a solution by year-end."

Indian shrimp exports to Japan have been facing difficulties after Japan's Food Safety Commission announced in September 2012 new regulations imposing compulsory testing for Ethoxyquin in shrimp consignments. The new regulations introduced health standards that would tolerate Ethoxyquin levels up to 0.01 ppm only -- down from the previous 1 ppm.

Ethoxyquin is a quinoline-based antioxidant used as a food preservative and a pesticide.

According to the Marine Products Export Development Authority of India, in the year 2012-13 "export of Frozen Shrimp decreased by 11.07 percent in quantity terms and 21.92 percent in dollar terms mainly due to the Ethoxyquin issue with frozen shrimp exports from India".

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