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VASEP rejects fake news on tra fish in Romania

Update: August, 16/2018 - 19:00
Farmers harvest tra fish in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Long An. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Đức
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Inaccurate information about Vietnamese tra fish on several Romanian websites could negatively affect Việt Nam’s tra fish exports to this market, said the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) in an article published on its website on August 15.

VASEP named several websites that published false news on Vietnamese fish, such as realitate.net, ziuanews.ro, bzi.no, adevarul.ro, puppe.ro and secretulsanatatii.net

Some of the articles even called for a boycott of tra fish in restaurants that serve it, according to VASEP, adding that the incorrect information in newspapers with a large following, such as adevarul.ro and realitatea.ro, could accelerate the spread of the false news.

Romania is a small import market for Vietnamese tra fish products, typically buying about US$5 million annually in recent years. In the first six months of this year, the export value of tra fish from Việt Nam to Romania reached $1.75 million.

But the fake news was a big worry because it can easily be viral on social networks without control, harming not only Việt Nam’s tra fish exports to Romania but also other European countries, the association alleged. 

VASEP is keeping a close watch on the matter through the Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in Romania to take appropriate actions to avoid possible losses.  

This is not the first time Việt Nam’s tra fish has been smeared in Europe. At the beginning of 2017, Spanish commercial television channel Cuatro broadcast incorrect and defamatory information on tra fish bred in the Mekong River

According to the Cuatro report, tra fish were being raised in unclean cages and fed dead fish and other food waste. The report went on to charge that this was why Vietnamese tra fish are cheap. 

After receiving information about the Cuatro report, VASEP sent a letter to local media, disputing it in its entirety, stressing that Việt Nam’s tra fish production was hygienic and safe to consume. However, exports to this market were still affected, down 70 per cent year-on-year last year. 

Vietnamese tra fish is present in most markets in the world, including choosy ones such as the European Union, the US and Japan. This means the product meets international requirements on food safety and the environment.

The value of Việt Nam’s exports of tra fish continues to grow at a high rate. Exports grew 19 per cent year-on-year to $1.2 billion in the first seven months of this year, including $197 million in July, 17 per cent higher than the same month of last year.

Tra fish exports are expected to have strong growth in the third and fourth quarters with rates of 30 per cent per quarter, according to VASEP. — VNS

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