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United States : Japan Proposes to Amend MRLs for Erythromycin in Foods.

On August 2, 2016 Japan notified its draft amendment related to MRLs for Erythromycin in foods to the World Trade Organization (WTO). It will enter into force six months after publication. Objections and requests for hearing must be received before October 1, 2016.

Erythromycin is a macrolide antibiotic produced by Saccharopolyspora erythraea. It is widely used in medical and veterinary practice in order to combat Gram-positive and some Gram-negative bacteria. Abuse of antibiotics can leave residues in food products and cause undesirable effects on consumer health, especially adverse reactions in the most vulnerable risk groups, such as pregnant women and infants. As the result of increasing awareness of food safety among consumers with respect to antimicrobial resistance, maximum residue limits (MRLs) for erythromycin in foods have been established by international bodies and organizations including the European Union (EU), Heath Canada, and Codex in order to control antibiotic abuse. Nevertheless, MRLs for erythromycin in some foods differ from country to country.

Food products are mainly produced by developing countries. Western countries and Japan are the major food importers and have their own food regulations. In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan is a highly influential role model for food safety for neighboring countries. Its Food Sanitation Act authorizes the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) to establish MRLs for pesticides, feed additives, and veterinary drugs. The Positive List System has been introduced in Japan with the purpose of monitoring all foods distributed into the marketplace. To comply with international regulations, MRLs for Erythromycin regarding with MHLW Notification 499, 2005 have been reviewed and the amendment sent to the WTO in order to avoid creating a trade barrier. A full list of Erythromycin MRLs and food commodities mentioned in this amendment is shown in Table 1.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Aug 26, 2016
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