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Inspections to meet EU food safety standards

Update: February, 16/2012 - 10:00


Farmers sort pineapples at a farm in Tan Phuoc District in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tien Gaing. Fruit and vegetables are to be inspected to bring them in line with European Union standards. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI — Inspections of fruit and vegetable producers would be conducted throughout the country in an effort to meet the European Union's regulations on plant quarantine and food safety, according to a message from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Duc Phat on Tuesday.

The ministry wanted its Plant Protection Department to boost its dissemination work and issue guidelines to localities and exporters to ensure their products qualified for export to the EU.

The department will co-ordinate with the country's International Co-operation Department and the EU's authorised agency to solve any problems that arise concerning exports to the EU.

The examination was tightened after several batches of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables were recently reported to have contained a micro-organism that violated the EU's regulations on food safety and plant quarantine.

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumers has reported that if they discovered five more violations as of January 5, they would issue an embargo on Vietnamese fruit and vegetable imports.

Chairmen of people's committees and relevant sectors in 63 cities and provinces were instructed to zone and develop fruit and vegetable growing areas in line with the Global Agricultural Organisation, a non-profit body which provides support to the agricultural community on an international level.

Customs clearance would be issued when the exporters were able to show plant quarantine certificates for their products, said Phat. — VNS

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