Canada’s CBC Set To Air Exposé On Shrimp, Antimicrobial Resistance
On Friday, March 15, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) is set to air an exposé on its popular consumer-watchdog program, Marketplace, on shrimp and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) titled “Testing Shrimp for Superbugs.” Due to the nature of the segment and its conversations with the CBC, the Global Aquaculture Alliance is concerned that the TV network will insinuate to its roughly 1 million viewers across Canada that imported, farmed shrimp is a food-safety concern when there is no indication that it is unsafe.
The segment stems from an investigation that CBC conducted in January and February, randomly pulling imported, farmed shrimp products from Canadian grocery stores in Calgary, Saskatoon, Toronto and Montreal and testing the samples at an independent university laboratory specializing in testing for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The samples were tested for both pathogens and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
In an interview with the program’s producer and a reporter, GAA President Dr. George Chamberlain talked at length about the importance of combatting AMR in all foods, as it’s a human-health issue regarding the long-term effectiveness of life-saving antibiotics. However, he emphasized that it would be misleading to present this as a food-safety issue, because there is no indication that imported, farmed shrimp is unsafe. He went on to explain how GAA’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program address antibiotic use at the farm level and the testing of antibiotic residues at the processing level.