U.S. officials say they have not heard a word from Chinese health authorities since the Washington State Department of Health sent test results showing that geoducks from Puget Sound are safe to eat.
A ban on shellfish imports from the Northwest continues. By all accounts, it appears that U.S. shellfish exporters will miss a chance to provide geoducks, oysters and other shellfish to China during lucrative Chinese New Year celebrations next week.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has sent the health department’s test results to China, NOAA spokeswoman Connie Barclay told me yesterday. “We will continue to work with folks to see if we can resolve this issue,” she said.
Meanwhile, Chinese Central Television (CCTV), a government-sponsored TV network in China, has produced a video describing the issue, including the economic effects on shellfish growers. It’s a pretty straightforward piece, but offers no hint about what further steps may be taken by the Chinese government.
The bottom line is that nothing has happened for weeks. Shellfish growers are waiting patiently, hoping this does issue does not grow into an extended trade dispute.