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HCM City police bust seller of banned meat additives

Update: April, 09/2012 - 10:42

HCM CITY — The environment crime police branch of the Ministry of Public Security on Thursday discovered a wholesale seller of banned lean-meat additives imported from China.

In a surprise inspection of the Hong Trien Company in Binh Tan District, the police found 1.04 tonnes of the banned lean-meat agents in 54 cartons labeled Gold Protein Peptide, made by China-based WuXi Zhengda Poultry Company.

The inspectors confiscated the stock. They said the banned substances stored in the company's warehouse were to be distributed to several provinces neighbouring HCM City.

According to Senior Lieutenant Colonel Dang Van Tot, the surprise raid was launched after the company was suspected to be selling the banned additives.

Product samples were taken secretly for testing and the results proved that the product labeled Gold Protein Peptide contained beta-agonists clenbuterol and salbutamol, a lean-meat agent banned in breeding animals.

Another company in HCM City's Tan Phu District was also found to be importing and distributing the substances. Trinh Tu Linh, director of the Hong Trien Company, told the police that the stock of banned substances in her warehouse belonged to the Nam Hoa Company, which belongs to her sister Trinh Tu Le.

Linh is also a deputy director of Nam Hoa Co, investigators found.

Customs documents given by the Nam Hoa Company showed that its latest import of the banned lean-meat agents was three tonnes. Part of the products had been sold in Long An, Dong Nai, and Tien Giang provinces.

These substances belong to the group of beta-agonists, which stimulate growth and quickly develop lean meat in cattle, but have been banned since 2002 in Viet Nam due to their harmful effects on human health.

Recently the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has called for a police probe into the trade and use of the banned substances to save honest breeders and protect consumers' health.

The ministry has set up inspection teams and coordinated with local authorities to take samples and conduct tests to confirm the locations of pigs that have been fed with banned substances. — VNS

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