The decision was announced today by the Fish Vet Group (FVG), which has been working closely with the FDA for more than five years to achieve Import Tolerance – going through an assessment process which is one of the most rigorous in the world, assessing the safety, residue and environmental impact of food products imported into the US.
This is a major step forward for Atlantic Salmon producers, sea lice are an increasing welfare issue and cost the industry more than $500m per year. Global production of farmed Atlantic salmon is approximately two million tonnes, and of this volume more than 10% is exported to the US market annually. Producers can now select from stock treated with any of the current Benchmark sea lice products available on the market today for export to the US.
Previously, under US Federal regulations, producers were forced to segregate their stocks with US-destined cages that would not be treated for sea lice. When all cages cannot be strategically treated as part of an effective Integrated Pest Management plan, the untreated sites act as reservoirs for sea lice, resulting in the area’s sea lice population life cycle remaining unbroken –and driving resistance development.
John Marshall, Technical Director at Benchmark, said: “Salmon farmers in Norway, Chile, Canada, Faroe Islands, UK and Ireland now have the freedom to develop a robust treatment and management plan for all of their facilities and export salmon treated with Salmosan, Salmosan Vet and Byelice with confidence.”
This move supports Benchmark’s commitment to building a sustainable food chain by offering progressive aquaculture health solutions.