US officials to meet with China on shellfish ban

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Associated Press

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 19 at 10:04 AM

SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. officials are traveling to Beijing this week to discuss China's ongoing import ban on geoduck clams and other shellfish from the U.S. West Coast.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokeswoman says Chinese authorities have agreed to meet Friday with officials from NOAA's seafood inspection program.

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.

NOAA has asked China to limit its ban to two localized areas rather than a wider swath of the West Coast.

NOAA spokeswoman Connie Barclay says U.S. officials hope to identify and address the country's remaining concerns.

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