Saturday, October 22 2016


VN food safety poor: experts

Update: June, 09/2016 - 09:00
Food stalls along Hà Nội’s Lý Thường Kiệt Street attract a lot of people. Food safety and hygiene in Việt Nam reportedly remain poor, experts said during a scientific forum in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNS Photo Thái Hà
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Scientists and food managers discussed measures to limit the use of banned substances and improve agricultural products’ quality during a scientific forum in Hà Nội yesterday.

The forum was held by the Việt Nam Union of Science and Technology Association (VUSTA).

Phạm Văn Tân, deputy chairman of the VUSTA, said that the amount of plant protection substances being used increased by 2.5 times from 2000-11.

About 1,000 different kinds of substances were registered to be used in the country whereas only 400-600 were registered in other Southeast Asian countries.

In several vegetable, fruit and tea planting areas, 35-60 per cent of farmers isolated their products only 1-3 days before selling them, and 25-43 per cent of the farmers isolated 4-6 days before whereas most of the plant protection substances required 7-14 days or even more, said Tân.

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development statistics showed that from January to September in 2015, 6.8 tonnes of banned lean-meat stimulants were illegally imported to Việt Nam.

The Department of Animal Health reported that more than 80 per cent of tra fish breeders in Bến Tre, Đồng Tháp and An Giang southern provinces used antibiotics, including banned ones. Sixty eight per cent of shrimp breeders also used them.

Experts at the forum reported different faults related to food safety and hygiene.

Food safety and hygiene was managed by three ministries including health, industry and trade, agriculture and rural development, so management overlapped.

Several food safety and hygiene steering committees in provinces and districts did not perform effectively.

The country lacked inspectors and equipment so checking and testing the food quality was difficult.

Laws and regulations were often complicated and contradictory.

There was also a lack of awareness of the importance of food safety and hygiene. 

Phùng Hữu Hào, deputy director of the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department, said that the country’s target to end the use of antibiotics and the trafficking of plant protection substances by the end of this year was unlikely to be fulfilled.

Trần Duy Khanh, an expert from the Việt Nam Poultry Association, proposed concerned ministries re-check all laws to see which were suitable.

The State should set up a system to supervise the manufacturing period and residents and farmers should take part in it.

Phan Thị Kim, from the Viet nam Association of Food Science and Technology, said that 13 decrees and 111 circulars were promulgated within five years but the country did not check their effectiveness after promulgation.

Media only report on bad enterprises and ignore the good ones, said Kim. — VNS

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