|Authorities inspect packaged foods in the market. Authorised agencies will publicise lists of facilities and businesses found violating regulations on quality and measurement standards. — VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Authorised agencies will publicise lists of facilities and businesses found violating regulations on quality and measurement standards, Tran Viet Thanh, deputy minister of science and technology told a workshop last week.
A recent inspection campaign, launched by the ministry, has examined 16 kinds of packaged products from 2,900 facilities and businesses in 63 cities and provinces.
Nearly 600 facilities and businesses were found violating regulations on labels and measurement standards with drinking and agricultural products accounting for 50 per cent of violation cases.
The most common violation was that the actual weights of the products were less than ones written on the packing.
Nghe An Province had the highest number of violation cases. Among 37 samples of bottled mineral water tested, 23 were found seriously violating quality standards, according to a representative of the province's department of science and technology.
Owners of the these facilities have used fake quality testing certificates to sell their products in the domestic market.
Tran Minh Dung, chief of the ministry's inspectorate said that the current punishment was not strong enough to solve the problem.
"The total collected fine for violations of quality and measurement standards of nearly 600 facilities and businesses was only VND1.7 billion (nearly US$76,000)," Dung said.
The ministry has proposed a considerable increase in administrative fines for violators.
"We need stronger punishment to address the problem. Those who seriously violate quality standards, posing risks to consumers' health should be considered as criminals," Thanh, the deputy minister, said.
The ministry's plan to publicise lists of facilities violating regulations on quality and measurement standards will protect consumers' rights and help them make better choices in purchasing packaged products.
"This is also a warning for facilities and businesses who only care about their profits regardless of consumers' health. People will protect their health by boycotting low-quality products," Thanh said. — VNS