Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat has called for stricter control over
farm produce imports, particularly their origin, to ensure all the goods
meet food safety standards.
Concerning the quality
of local farm produce, the minister instructed relevant agencies to
adopt drastic measures to ensure food safety and hygiene at all stages.
He noted at an online workshop on the quality of
agro-forestry and fisheries products on April 4 that it is essential to
praise those who conform to regulations while punishing those who fail
to do so.
Food safety and hygiene awareness among
officials as well as farmers remains low while related regulations are
not effective enough to stop violations.
agriculture and rural development departments in 46 localities
discovered 961 units violating regulations, accounting for 18.7 percent
of the 12,000 trading and production sites inspected.
Inspectors found that 6.8 percent of samples inspected contained unacceptably high levels of pesticide.
The ministry punished more than 5,900 cases of violations last year
with total fines of more than 10 billion VND (476,000 USD).
Most violations concerned the use of banned substances in cattle-feed
and failure to provide a clean environment for aquaculture.-VMA