Test not reliable in growth hormone case

19-01-2007 | |

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in Vietnam published the names of the companies that are accused of using prohibited growth hormones in their cattle-feed. However, the test used seemed not reliable to give the companies a penalty.

According to Deputy Minister of MARD Diep Kinh Tan, 19
samples out of the 295 inspected samples (6.4%) were found as containing
Clenbuterol and Salbutamol at two independent laboratories. These hormones
can cause heart and lung function disorders, and have been prohibited since
2002.

The samples of six companies have tested positive (both
laboratories gave the same conclusion). The six companies are Ha Nam-based Hong
Ha Nutrition Joint Stock Company, Uni-President Vietnam Company Ltd, SAFANUTRO,
Binh Duong-based Hoang Long Trading and Production, Dong Nai-based Minh Quan
Trading and Production, and HCM City-based Newhope.

ELISA not reliable enough
However, experts said that the test conducted with the
ELISA method can give different results in different laboratories and is
therefore not reliable enough to test for the growth hormone. To be absolutely
sure, it is necessary to use GC/MS method. However, no laboratory in Vietnam can conduct tests with this method. Mr Tan said MARD will
send samples to Singapore for testing, and punishment on the companies
would only be imposed if there was enough evidence
after the results of those tests came back.

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