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VietNamNews

Food safety reporting should be done scientifically and responsibly

Update: November, 26/2018 - 17:00
A truck with banners on food safety. — Photo baodongnai.com.vn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Mass media has provided useful information on food safety, but in some cases the information was still unscientific, unclear or inaccurate.

That was the main idea put forward by participants in the seminar on Food Safety and Roles of Communication which was held on November 26 by the Việt Nam Journalists’ Association (VJA) and Croplife Organisation - Việt Nam in Hà Nội.

The seminar was a venue for Vietnamese journalists and international experts and scientists from the US and Europe to discuss methods for disseminating information on food safety scientifically and responsibly.

Hồ Quang Lợi, permanent vice president of the VJA, said: “Food safety is always a matter of concern for the Government and the community.”

“This matter has been widely disseminated via mass media in recent years,” he said. “The press has helped the public increase awareness of the production process as well as the importance of safety and nutrition.”

"This demonstrated the tremendous responsibility of the press to provide scientific information which helped people have knowledge to make their smart consumption choices,” said Lợi.

Dr. Trần Bá Dung, a VJA member, raised shortcomings in providing information on scientific and technology issues in food safety.

There has been erroneous and inaccurate reporting on food safety which might cause negative impacts, said Dung.

In the seminar, Jason Sandahl, an expert on food safety from the United States Department of Agriculture, said shortcomings in accurately relaying information on these topics has worried people and led to misunderstandings about plant protection chemicals.

Sandahl stressed the importance of using advanced plant protection methods to ensure food safety.

Farmers, management agencies and distributors have the same responsibilities and obligations to producing safe and nutrient-rich foods, said Sandahl.

Đào Xuân Cường, a representative of CropLife Việt Nam, said about 24.5 million small-scale farming households in the country depended on plant protection agents to prevent diseases and weeds.

However, overuse of chemical agents and fertilisers was one of factors negatively impacting food safety, said Cường.

“The big challenge is to change cultivation habits of small-scale households and provide training on the safe and responsible use of plant protection chemical agents to enhance their role in the safe food production chain,” said Cường. — VNS

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