Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The northern province of Lạng Sơn has failed to control farm produce, poultry and animals illegally imported via unofficial channels.
Additionally, public awareness of the importance of food safety was lower than expected, said National Assembly’s Vice Chairman, Phùng Quốc Hiển, on Monday while he led an inspection team of food hygiene and safety experts to the province.
Data from the locality showed that more than 512,000 tonnes of farm produce, worth about US$80 million, was legally imported from China in 2016. Over the past five years, 207 local residents reportedly suffered from food poisoning, but no fatalities were recorded.
It is estimated that thousands of tonnes of poultry are illegally imported from China into the province via unofficial channels each year.
After the inspection, the teams discovered that local residents still used foods without clear origins illegally imported without questioning their quality and safety.
During the inspection, Hiển asked Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vũ Văn Tám to answer his question on whether foods, imported from China, and consumed in Việt Nam, meet standards on food hygiene and safety or not.
Tám said samples were taken from legally imported foods and tested to ensure that they meet standards on food hygiene and safety, but problems persisted in illegally imported foods, he said.
Therefore, Hiển ordered local administration to take severe action in the fight against smuggling and commercial fraud to resolve the situation as soon as possible.
The inspection was set to be conducted over two days. On Monday, the team was divided into three groups to check the border gates of Tân Thanh, Cốc Nam, and Hữu Nghị, and wholesale markets of Giếng Vuông and Chi Lăng. The team split into two groups to check slaughtering stations in the province yesterday. — VNS