HA NOI (VNS)— Better co-operation among agencies, the media and consumers was needed to crack down on milk-related violations and ensure a healthy market in Viet Nam.
The statement was made yesterday by Do Thanh Lam, vice head of the Market Management Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Joining an online meeting on milk marketing prices and quality held by the Government's web portal, Lam highlighted the importance of close collaboration to enable consumers to buy quality milk products at fair prices.
He mentioned the exposure of a scandal involving imported Danlait milk early this year as evidence of successful co-operation. After mothers raised their doubt about the milk, which allegedly led to children losing weight, inspections were conducted and the importing company had to account for the wrong labelling.
An investigation revealed that the local importer paid about VND80,000 per can but sold it for nearly VND450,000.
Confused about the quality of milk in the domestic market, many parents preferred to used products brought in as carry-on luggage, Lam said.
Consumers have raised concerns most about recent price hikes for milk products. In the last six years, prices have multiplied about 30 times, adding a huge burden for many young families.
Pham Vu Anh, vice director of the Finance Ministry's Price Management Department, said that companies often labelled milk powder for children under six years as "supplementary nutrients".
This excluded the formula from being placed on a list of price-stabilised products, so companies don't have to ask for permission to raise prices.
The department has called for an end to this practice, Anh said.
He said that as of this year when the Price Law came into operation, local finance departments co-ordinated with tax and market-watch offices to tighten inspection over milk and nutrient products.
Le Hoang, vice head of the Foodstuff Management Division under the Food Safety Department at the Health Ministry, said that at department website vfa.gov.vn, consumers could seek information about products that were legally certified as milk products. — VNS