|Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc blamed lax control, as well as the shielding and protection of anti-smuggling staff, for the circulation of fake fertilisers and substandard food in market. — Illustrative image/ Photo vietq.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Wednesday called for joint efforts by ministries, agencies, localities and the public to curb smuggling and trade fraud, particularly in agriculture.
Phuc, who is also head of the National Steering Committee on the Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Fake Commodities (or Steering Committee 389), said during its meeting in Ha Noi that violations relating to fertilisers, pesticides and animal feeding were rampant and sophisticated.
He blamed lax control, as well as the shielding and protection of anti-smuggling staff, for the circulation of fake fertilisers and substandard food in market.
He said mechanisms and punishments were not strict enough to deter violators.
Although the names of violators were publicised for consumers to boycott, the move was not as effective as expected because it received little public engagement, he said.
The Deputy PM urged relevant ministries and agencies to further co-operate in inspection and detection over violations, especially in December and during the Lunar New Year holiday when consumption typically increases.
They were also asked to concentrate on enforcing laws for fertiliser and pesticide traders.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai reported that in the last 11 months, the Market Watch under the ministry cracked down with 878 violations relating to fertiliser, 211 relating to food additives, and 593 relating to unidentified-origin pesticides, veterinary and animal feeding.
Meanwhile, inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development found that one-third of over 3,100 inspected veterinary producers and traders had violated the law.
When examining 5,900 pesticide producers and traders, the ministry's inspectors found 913 violators, most whom had made or sold fake, substandard or expired pesticide. Product labels were found to be not in line with the actual use of products.
Over one-fifth of 4,000 inspected farming households were found to use pesticide improperly, as well as the overuse or use of banned pesticides that cause environmental pollution and harm health.
The use of banned substances in breeding was found in localities, mostly in southeastern provinces like HCM City, Dong Nai, Tien Giang, Long An and Binh Duong – breeding hubs of Viet Nam.
A representative of the public security ministry said that it was difficult to detect fake products.
It took months of costly measures to test the products, and in almost all cases, violators simply paid fines.
According to the agriculture ministry, Viet Nam uses about one million tonnes of fertiliser each year. While the prevalence of fake and substandard fertiliser has become a major problem in the agriculture sector, only 0.3 per cent of violators were prosecuted in criminal courts, which failed to deter other violators. — VNS