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Standard procedures necessary to co-ordinate local inspections

Update: November, 06/2013 - 09:49

Staff test imported fruit at the Mong Cai Plant Quarantine Centre in Quang Ninh Province. Managing the quality of agriculture, forestry and fisheries products would be easier with a strategy that focuses on high-risk areas and increased co-operation with large business groups. — VNA/VNS Photo The Duyet

HA NOI (VNS) — Agriculture, forestry and fishery product inspections are not planned well, said Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Speaking at a meeting in Ha Noi yesterday, Thu said sometimes one factory was inspected by both local authorities and inspection groups from the Cultivation Department and Animal Health Department.

When violations were found, it was difficult to impose fines because of the lack of uniform standards. From now on, the standards should be made public so that businesses would know what punishment they faced, she said.

Nguyen Xuan Hong, director of the Plant Protection Department, said it would be easier to supervise product quality if inspectors focused on high-risk areas.

For example, he said, instead of inspecting thousands of shops trading in plant protection products, inspection groups could first focus on 97 high-risk shops.

Moreover, in order to prevent the trading of fake products, Hong suggested authorities co-operate with large business groups, which have their own market teams working to find fake products.

"What matters is not how many inspections we conduct, but the efficiency of the inspections," Hong said.

The director held up the decrease in imports of poor quality fruit as an example of efficient inspections.

In the past month, the department inspected nearly 5,300 packets of goods of plant origin imported from over 40 countries.

Out of 74 samples of vegetables and fruits examined, only two samples of persimmons and apples were found containing pesticide residue beyond the acceptable level.

However, there have been many violations when it comes to agricultural supplies. Inspections carried out in October revealed that over 75 per cent of factories producing agricultural supplies and seafood and agricultural products met requirements.

However, nearly 45 per cent of poultry slaughterhouses were categorised as in need of re-inspection or under consideration to have their licenses revoked. — VNS

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