Strict punishment and better communication: two key tasks for safer agriculture products, officials

April 26, 2016 - 12:10

Strict punishment and better communication: two key tasks for safer agriculture products, officials

Delegates to the conference on use of banned substance in animal breeding called for stricter punishment and better communication for safer food in Việt Nam. —Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI (VNS)  The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has identified strict punishment and better communication as two key tasks to make food safer in Việt Nam, an official said.

Nguyễn Xuân Dương, deputy head of the Animal Husbandry Department, said at a conference that the ministry had been strengthening inspection, detection and punishment over the use of banned substances in animal breeding.

It was also important to introduce and encourage safe production models and reliable businesses for consumers to choose, he added.

Dương said on Monday that inspections must be carried out regularly despite Việt Nam’s progress in controlling the use of banned substances in animal breeding, particularly since last year when concerns spread about the use of Sabultamol by breeders to make pigs leaner.

“Việt Nam has large number of animal breeding households but not all of them are aware of safe breeding processes or able to change to a safer process,” Dương said

He said that the country saw models that presented closed farm-store-kitchen chain, offering safe agriculture products including meat, eggs and milks in localities nationwide.

More than 100 breeding farms and about 9,000 farming households nationwide have VietGAP (National Good Agricultural Practice) certificates, he said.

Deputy Head of Pharmacy Management Department under Health Ministry, Nguyễn Tất Đạt called for specific actions including more communication to improve awareness for animal breeders and strict punishment for violators.

“We should work together to boycott products that contain banned substances,” he said.

Chief inspector of Agriculture Ministry Nguyễn Văn Việt said that in the last two years, domestic pharmacy firms imported over 9 tonnes of banned substances, of which over 6.2 tonnes were sold for illegal uses.

He said that since the beginning of last year, ministry inspectors found 18 firms involved in using or trading banned substance in breeding after making unannounced inspections on 40 firms and farms nationwide. The violators were fined VNĐ2.6 billion (US$116,600).

Agriculture Minister Cao Đức Phát said that by the end of this year, the use of banned substances in animal breeding must be stopped.

Under Việt Nam’s revised Crimial Code effective since July, those who used banned substances in food production and processing would be jailed for up to 20 years and fined more than VNĐ1 billion ($44,840).

The conference on the use of banned substances in breeding was organised by Lao động ( Labour) newspaper and the Animal Husbandry Department.  VNS