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US bill can harm fisheries industry

Update: February, 21/2014 - 08:24
"We fear that the new regulations in the bill may exert a negative impact on Viet Nam's aquaculture and fish processing industry, and this could affect American consumers as well," said Vietnamese Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Le Hai Binh.— Photo vietpress

HA NOI (VNS)— The catfish inspection programme listed in the United States' 2014 Farm Bill should abide by the country's international commitments and not create trade barriers.

This statement was made yesterday by Vietnamese Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Le Hai Binh while answering reporters' queries on Viet Nam's response to the United States' adoption of the bill, which mandates the inspection of catfish and stipulates packaging and export requirements.

"We fear that the new regulations in the bill may exert a negative impact on Viet Nam's aquaculture and fish processing industry, and this could affect American consumers as well," he noted.

According to the spokesperson, Viet Nam has always strictly controlled its aquaculture and fish processing industry and has widely applied the highest international standards, including the United States' Best Aquaculture Practices.

Viet Nam has also ensured food hygiene and safety along with protecting the environment, he said, noting that Vietnamese tra and basa fish have won the favour of consumers across the world.

On February 4, the US Senate gave final congressional approval to a five-year farm bill, under which the inspection of catfish, including Vietnamese tra and basa fish, will be transferred from the remit of the Food and Drug Administration to the Department of Agriculture.

Accordingly, Vietnamese catfish exporters trading with the United States must fulfill all requirements set for local products from production to packaging and exporting. — VNS

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