CFIA Monitoring of Aquacultured Finfish for Steroids

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As part of our ongoing effort to maintain an effective and up-to-date residue monitoring program that protects Canadian consumers and facilitates market access, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is testing for steroids in aquacultured finfish.

Testing for steroids Boldenone (17 beta-boldenone), epi-Boldenone (17 alpha-boldenone), Nandrolone (17 beta-19-nortestosterone), epi-Nandrolone (17 alpha-19-nortestosterone) and Methyltestosterone (17 alpha-methyltestosterone) is already underway in domestic aquacultured finfish and will now begin in imported aquacultured finfish.

According to the Food and Drug Regulations, steroids are not approved for use in animals intended for consumption as food. The CFIA will take appropriate regulatory action on non-compliant products.

Fish importers and domestic fish processors are responsible for ensuring product compliance by implementing measures to address therapeutant use in aquacultured finfish intended for human consumption. Both importers and processors are encouraged to communicate with their suppliers to maintain updated product specifications described in buyer-seller agreements.

Quality Management Program Import (QMPI) licence holders and domestic processors must ensure that their Quality Management Program (QMP) plan is updated appropriately to include monitoring for this additional therapeutant. As of July 1, 2016, the CFIA will begin verifying that the QMP plan of importers is updated.

To ensure that product testing needs for steroids can be met, QMPI importers should contact an accredited laboratory to discuss this monitoring requirement. It is important that accredited third party laboratories be ready for testing and have method sensitivities comparable to those achieved by the CFIA.

For more information on the analytical method for determination of steroids and associated method performance specifications, please contact Jeffrey Van de Riet, National Manager, Food Chemistry Laboratory Coordination.

For other questions, please contact your local CFIA office.

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