Customers purchase fruits at a supermarket. The fight against unsafe food requires more joint drastic efforts by State agencies, food producers, suppliers and users. — Photo tapchigiaothong.vn
HÀ NỘI — The fight against unsafe food requires more joint drastic efforts by State agencies, food producers, suppliers and users, according to the director of the National Agro Forestry and Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD), Nguyễn Như Tiệp.
Tiệp, speaking last week at a conference headlined “Actions for safe farming products”, warned that the fight against unsafe food in Việt Nam would not end soon despite recent efforts.
Figures presented at the conference, co-organised last week by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and Lao động (Labour) newspaper, showed that in the first half of this year, 0.42 per cent of tested meat contained the banned chemical Sabutamol, almost four per cent of vegetables had excessive concentrations of pesticide, 1.3 per cent of meat contained excessive concentrations of chemicals, and 5.3 per cent of aquaculture products had excessive antibiotics residue.
“The figures prove the need for more action to ensure food safety,” Tiệp said.
Lê Việt Nga of the MoIT’s Department for Domestic Market, said up to 70 per cent of fresh food was sold at traditional markets where risks of unsafe food were much higher than those in other food supply channels, such as supermarkets.
She said that products sold in supermarkets usually had clear certified origins.
In terms of producers, some of them failed to meet food safety requirements, particularly small-scale farms which accounted for about 98 per cent of total farms in Việt Nam, having limitations in capital, technology, corporation management and market access.
Chairman of Hà Nội Supermarkets Association Vũ Vinh Phú said that more attention should be paid to the production stage with solving problems of production factors like air, soil and water.
“We are too concentrated on controlling the supply stage. Food safety problems must be addressed from the root, not the top,” Phú said.
The official appealed for the Government to promulgate policies that are strong enough to encourage the production and supply of safe food.
“Consumers need to exercise their “soft” power to boycott those who violate food safety rules and to support those who strictly obey the rules,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nguyễn Hoài Nam, deputy general secretary of the Việt Nam Seafood Exporters and Producers, said that it was time for Vietnamese food producers to tighten co-operation to ensure stable supply both in quality and quantity.
He suggested food processors to apply Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP - a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product) as a key to produce safe products. — VNS