Vietnam officials call for better food control
To ensure consumer safety, Vietnamese authorities need to improve the
monitoring of agri and food companies, said Nguyen Van Tung of
the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The comments follow a report and discussions on work carried out during
the recent Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) action month
(January till February 2007). The work identified urgent issues that needed to
be addressed. Deputy head of the ministry's Department of Science and
Technology, Le Van Bam, said that besides enhancing dissemination to raise
awareness on agricultural safety, relevant agencies had tightened inspection of
agricultural materials and food processing.
Bad quality animal
During the month-long campaign, 194 out of the total 1,493
businesses selling chemicals used to protect plants, fertiliser, animal feed and
animal medicine were found to have made violations. Most violations included
businesses operating without licenses or using low-quality and out-of-date
materials. Inspection of 67 animal feed processing units in the three provinces
of Ha Tay, Ben Tre and Ca Mau, resulted in eight businesses having to re-produce
their products after violations were discovered. Half of 38 animal feed samples
tested in Dong Thap Province were found not to meet quality standards.
Deputy director of Hai Phong
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Van Tung called on
authorities to focus more attention on enterprises which produce and sell
agricultural materials. "When farmers have clean materials, they will produce
clean agricultural products," said Tung. "The State should invest and equip
localities to have capacity to analyse material samples and agricultural
products quickly and correctly," he added.
Head of the Department of
Food Hygiene and Safety, under the Ministry of Health, Tran Dang, suggested
shifting more responsibility in the area to consumers by labelling safe products
during the processing stage. "Products should be checked at farms by producers
so that when they are on consumers' dining tables, they are still fresh and
clean," he said. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Duc Phat,
said the action month would be a regular and key task for the sector. It would
be implemented synchronously and thoroughly in the coming time, he said.
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