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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Chemical residues found in 10% of veggies at wholesale markets

By Minh Thao

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HCMC – High levels of chemical residues were found in 10% of tested vegetable and fruit samples taken from wholesale markets by the Food Safety Management Authority (FSMA) of HCMC, which collected and tested them from 2017 to 2022. 

The findings showed that samples have increasingly met food safety standards over the years, but 10% still had residues exceeding permissible levels, said Pham Khanh Phong Lan, head of FSMA. 

She was speaking at a conference themed “Ensuring quality, safety and origin transparency of food for consumers” held on October 18.

It is mandatory for food products from school canteens, restaurants, supermarkets and other distribution channels to meet VietGAP standards. However, the number of food products that satisfied the standards was still low.

Until now, 60% of egg products met VietGap standards, while only 20% of fruits and vegetables did. Meanwhile, seafood was even lower, at 10%.

The chair of the Food Transparency Association, Nguyen Thi Hong Minh, said that it is illogical to ask farmers to follow VietGap standards at the moment, as there are loopholes in the quality management of agricultural and food products.

Recently, some sellers faked VietGap certificates, turning vegetables with unclear origins into VietGAP-labelled ones to get their goods onto supermarket shelves. 

Vu Thi Hau, chair of the Vietnam Retailers Association, said it is necessary to develop agricultural product supply chains and raise awareness about food hygiene and safety to make tracking agricultural food origin easier.

Hau also proposed clamping down on food hygiene and safety violations, strengthening control over input quality, and using plant growth stimulants and chemicals.

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