HA NOI — The central steering committee on food safety and hygiene has ordered Chairmen of People's Committees nationwide to increase inspections at all stages of the animal breeding process to prevent the use of forbidden lean-meat additives.
The move was made following the recent discovery of the use of illegal Beta-agonist substances, which increase lean muscle growth but pose hazards to human health, in livestock farming in some localities. For example, additives were found being used in southern Dong Nai Province at 11 farms, and in northern Bac Ninh Province (found in a sample of pork liver), Hoa Binh and Hai Duong provinces (found in animal feed samples) .
Inspections and supervision will focus on pig farms, veterinary medicine businesses, animal feed processing establishments and businesses, and wholesale meat businesses.
Local departments of agricultural and rural development are also instructed to send suspicious samples to designated testing centres for analysis.
The committee also instructed relevant agencies to provide full and accurate information about the use of Beta-agonist substances in animal husbandry to avoid worrying consumers and affecting the production and trade of pork.
Information dissemination will be increased to raise public awareness, particularly among farmers and businesses, about the negative consequences of the use of these substances in livestock farming.
HCM City's police and market watch forces on Tuesday found and seized one tonne of forbidden lean-meat additives after inspecting the Oni animal feed production company in Binh Tan District.
Earlier this month, the municipal authorities seized 1.4 tonnes of the same additive at a Hong Trien Co Ltd warehouse in Tan Tao industrial zone.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Dong Nai Province on Tuesday urged authorities in Trang Bom and Thong Nhat districts to punish 11 farms that had been found to violate Beta-agonist regulations
Head of the provincial Animal Health Department's Technical Office Than Van Can said under current regulations, violators would face administrative punishments ranging from VND1-25 million (US$48-1,200) depending on the level of their infringement.
Earlier, the department collected 93 samples of pork, animal feed and urine for testing and found 11 farms in Trang Bom and Thong Nhat districts guilty of using Beta-agonist substances, he said.
"The department has asked local police to work with local authorities to track down the origin of the additives," he added. — VNS