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The shipment of arrowroot starch from St. Vincent suspected of being contaminated with salmonella after arriving in the United States three months ago has been cleared for use.

Purchasers of the arrowroot starch received the all clear from a laboratory in the United States and a full payment of US$266,000 has been made to the Arrowroot Association, the Ministry of Agriculture in Kingstown announced on Monday.

Some 26,000 pounds of arrowroot starch, almost two-thirds of this year’s production (40,000 pounds), was at risk of being rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, even as the purchaser had already paid US$133,000, half of the value of the shipment.

The all clear in the United States comes weeks after an independent test of arrowroot in St. Vincent by the University of the West Indies (UWI) concluded that the starch at the factory in Owia was not contaminated with the bacteria.
In the wake of the contamination scare, Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar said his ministry is focusing on conducting much-needed repairs of the factory in Owia.

The ministry is meeting with technical advisors from Argentina and has begun discussions with the Central Development Bank to the factories in Owia and Orange Hill.

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St. Vincent exported 45,000 pounds of arrowroot starch this year, 19,000 pounds more than in 2013.

The current demand for Arrowroot starch from SVG stands at 120,000 pounds annually.

Caesar said recently that his ministry is working to improve production.

The industry has seen increased production over the last three, during which the price per pound has risen from US$5 to US$7.

Local farmers have seen the price per pound paid to them increase from US$0.36 per pound to US$1.

The Arrowroot Association is expecting to export another 6,000 pounds of starch to the United States this week and to place 1,000 pounds on the Vincentian market.

One reply on “No salmonella in starch exported to US from SVG”

  1. Am I surprised by the attack and beating up on Small Nations by Big Brother when these micro states trying to do develop their micro economies and bring benefits to needy people. Haven’t we seen this before? I can remember when arrowroot starch that was the only natural source at the time used for holding computer printing papers together was knocked for six with artificial source, same country. Then Regan wanted to shut Trinidad steel mill because its end products were cheaper than its big brother in the north and finally, it was the same big brother who destroyed coconut oil because according to them it was too high in cholesterol which was a lie. Coconut oil it said was threatening soya. Look at what is said about coconut oil versus soya today. They would certainly make other attack on Caribbean products.

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