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August 31, 2013


Gruenberg’s Response to Chamberlain’s Comments on pH


On August 28, 2013, I posted an item titled USA—Missouri—Dr. George Chamberlain on EMS/AHPNS to the News Reports section of this webpage.  In that item Dr. Chamberlain said:


“EMS is stimulated or triggered by a pH of around 8.5 or 8.8 and inhibited by a pH of less than 8, maybe even less than 7.5.  This was discovered by a shrimp farm manager named Noriaki Akazawa who manages a shrimp farm in Malaysia called AgroBest, which is owned by the seafood trading company Maruha Nichiro Holdings, Inc.


“Akazawa brought some moribund shrimp into his lab, put them in an aquarium and then ran back to the pond.  When he returned to the lab, he expected to find that the shrimp had died, but they were perfectly fine, swimming around normally, and they stayed healthy for another week until he released them.  Why were they dying in the pond and why did they recover when he put them in an aquarium.  After looking at a lot of data, he discovered that the difference was pH.  The ponds with the moribund shrimp were experiencing high pH, which encouraged the disease.  The aquarium had a much lower pH and the disease regressed.  So managing pH is one method for controlling the manifestation of EMS.”


Daniel Gruenberg, CEO of Acquestra (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (formerly Sea Garden Foods) and technical advisor to Sureerath Organic Products Co, Ltd., an organic farm and feed mill in Chantaburi, Thailand, responded to Chamberlain’s statement, on The Shrimp List, a mailing list for shrimp farmers, with the following comments:


Dear List Members:


That interview with George Chamberlain contains some errors.


“The contention that lower gut pH improves EMS resistance is not backed up by evidence.  ...When you take any shrimp showing early EMS symptoms and transfer them to a tank, the symptoms improve regardless of pH.”


“I do in general believe in the conclusion of George’s article as he goes on to later urge caution against focusing on pH issues only....”


“We are still in the middle of a massive onslaught by EMS and despite all the publications of so-called miracle cures, there has been no third-party, confirmed evidence for such claims.”


“I am currently helping farms implement a strategic plan that are being hit hard with EMS and we are focusing on a holistic approach.”


“Interestingly, I continue to see evidence that was dismissed by government officials and academics on the link between breeders and vertical transmission.”


“I did find the data that EMS was linked to a particular PL supplier interesting as that is what I have been saying all along.”


“I believe there are now both vertical and horizontal transmission routes, and I believe that Thailand has at least improved the vertical transmission via PLs, but we still see a roughly 40% incidence rate, which has decreased from 80% earlier in the year.  But instead of showing up in first 30 days, it shows up later in the second 30 days of culture.”


Shrimp News: In emails to Shrimp News, Gruenberg said:


“Just wanted to let you know that Eastern Thailand is now being hit with WSSV in additional to EMS.”


“I’m in Mexico at the moment....  I am...convinced that the disease we see in Mexico is the exact same disease we are dealing with in Thailand.”


Sources: 1. The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers).  Subject: Video—Dr. George Chamberlain on EMS/AHPNS.  August 28, 2013.  2. Emails to Shrimp News International from Daniel Gruenberg.  Subjects: WSSV Double Whammy and Factual Errors, Chamberlain.  August 31, 2013.


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