Begich wants geoduck import ban lifted

JUNEAU — Sen. Mark Begich has asked China’s ambassador to the U.S. for help in lifting a recent Chinese ban on geoduck (GOO’-ee-duck) imports.

Begich, in a letter to the ambassador, said the state of Alaska was told that China would ban imports of geoduck clams and similar shellfish amid reports that product samples from southeast Alaska and the Pacific Northwest tested higher than acceptable limits for inorganic arsenic and PST, or paralytic shellfish toxin.

Begich said state testing by Alaska and Washington found the product was “well within” acceptable limits and didn’t pose any public health threat.

Begich urged the Chinese government to work with Alaska, federal seafood inspectors and the Food and Drug Administration to address questions over the conflicting results and to clear the way for trade to resume.

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