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Ginger imports under scrutiny following Chinese toxin fears

Update: May, 14/2013 - 10:29
Viet Nam has tightened up inspections of ginger imported from China following reports that farmers in Shandong Province were over-using a highly toxic pesticide called Aldicard in growing ginger.— VNS File Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam has tightened up inspections of ginger imported from China following reports that farmers in Shandong Province were over-using a highly toxic pesticide called Aldicard in growing ginger.

The pesticide is currently banned in Viet Nam.

Consumption of Aldicard can cause dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and respiratory failure. About 50 milligrammes of the drug is enough to kill a person weighing 50kg, according to a report by the China Central Television.

The head of Viet Nam's Plant Protection Department, Nguyen Xuan Hong, told Viet Nam News that samples were being collected for testing. The results will be published soon.

"We will also co-operate with China to track down ginger importers," he said. "Any batches of ginger not meeting quality standards will be re-exported."

More than 330 tonnes of ginger has been officially imported from China so far this year, mainly via border gates in northern mountainous Lang Son and Lao Cai provinces.

Under current regulations, samples of all border products must be tested. However, tests were not done on ginger because of the low amount imported, Hong said.

Chinese-grown herbs, such as ginger and garlic, remain popular in Viet Nam. It is generally bigger than the locally grown products.

Domestic ginger is sold at around VND40,000 a kilo, while the Chinese variety is sold for VND10,000.

The owner of a shop in Tu Liem District said that Chinese ginger and garlic were popular with restaurants who often bought hundreds of kilos at a time.

The Chinese products have a competitive edge because they are reputed to last longer. — VNS



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