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Taiwan gives clean bill of health to groupers banned by China

Fisheries Agency willing to give export licenses to two affected farms

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The Fisheries Agency found no banned chemicals at two fish farms targeted by China. 

The Fisheries Agency found no banned chemicals at two fish farms targeted by China.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two fish farms can start exporting groupers again now that contrary to Chinese accusations, no banned drugs were found in the fish, the Fisheries Agency said Tuesday (Jan. 18).

On Dec. 30, customs inspectors in Xiamen reportedly found two types of banned chemical products inside live fish, leading to an immediate ban on other fish from the same two farms and to more thorough testing of other live fish from Taiwan in general. The two businesses denied having administered leucomalachite green and gentian violet to their fish.

The Fisheries Agency conducted tests at 17 fish farms and found no evidence of any banned substances, CNA reported. As a result, the government was ready to issue export licenses to the farms if they so requested, though officials said it still remained to be seen whether China would allow imports to resume.

The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) said it had supplied China with a list of 461 companies exporting live groupers to the country on Jan. 11 and with the news of the test results at the two affected farms on Jan. 14.

Inspections of the grouper supply chain would continue, while experts and farmers were scheduled to meet Jan. 26 to discuss further measures improving the sector, according to the Fisheries Agency.