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China ends ban on West Coast geoducks

By Associated Press

SEATTLE – China has lifted a five-month-long ban on live shellfish from U.S. West Coast waters.

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer’s office sent out a statement May 23 saying the ban had been lifted. The ban had particularly affected the Washington and Alaska shellfish industry.

China imposed a ban in December on the import of clams, oysters, mussels, and scallops harvested from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Northern California. China detected high levels of inorganic arsenic in geoducks from Puget Sound. It also found paralytic shellfish poisoning in geoducks harvested in Alaska.

U.S. officials had traveled to China in March to discuss lifting the ban, including highlighting new methods for sampling, surveillance, and monitoring of inorganic arsenic.

Despite the ban, Washington growers had been shipping shellfish to Asia, with the two main destinations being Hong Kong and Vietnam. (end)

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