New food safety agency in HCM City

The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has ordered the Department of Home Affairs to work with three departments responsible for management of food safety and hygiene — health, agriculture and rural development, and industry and trade — to initiate the project. The agency will be equipped with food testing laboratories and have the authority to monitor food safety at the stages of producing, processing, transporting and selling to customers. Read more

Officials dismissed for certifying 800 substandard aquaculture products

The General Directorate of Fisheries has punished its Director of Aquaculture Department Bui Duc Quy for making fake seafood certificates for the circulation of 800 substandard aquaculture products when he was the Director of the Center for Aquaculture Testing with other officials.  Read more

Official pushes for jail for drug use by animal farms as violations persist

A senior agriculture inspector has exhorted the government to jail people using harmful substances to artificially increase the weight of livestock, saying the fines in place now have failed to deter the practice. Read more

Food safety: Da Nang slaughterhouse coats chickens with carcinogenic dye

Nguyen Cong Ngoc was found mixing gold coloring powder in water to dye the chickens before delivering them to the market. He said the chickens sell better with gold-colored skin. Many Vietnamese believe they taste better than chickens with white, pale skin. Read more

Vietnamese consumers find it hard to trust food safety management

Only 30% of consumers in Hanoi believe that foods with safety certificate are safe, according to Nguyen Thi Hong Minh, a former deputy agriculture minister. The proportion in Ho Chi Minh City is higher, at 70%. Test results can be “bought” while other certificates can be easily obtained without any food safety tests, she said. Read more

Heavy penalties for use of banned chemicals in animal feed

A revised law that will come into effect on July 1 this year states that those who that feed their animals banned chemicals can face to up to 20 years in prison. Some households were fined at the beginning of March, after excessive amounts of salbutamol, a banned chemical that boosts the growth and production of meat in cattle, were found in their pigs’ urine. Read more

National Assembly concerned over food safety in Vietnam

Even though Vietnam has a detailed legal framework and laws related to food safety and hygiene, the problem remains, said Le Thi Nga, deputy chairwoman of the NA Justice Committee. “Unhygienic food is causing more illnesses, lowering economic competitiveness and badly affecting the country’s image,” Nga said. Read more

FDA issues warning letters to seafood processors and importers

Seafood processors without compliant seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plans and dairy farms that sold animals that had illegal drug residues were among some the first warning letters released in 2016 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has the power to detain the company’s shipments at the U.S. border unless the issues are addressed in a timely manner. Read more

Foreign Supplier Verification Program rule issued by FDA

An estimated 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick each year from foodborne diseases, according to recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year. Over the past few years, high-profile outbreaks related to various foods, from spinach to peanut products, have underscored the need to make continuous improvements in food safety. Read more

Vietnam’s TPP ratification to take up to 2 years: lead negotiator

It will take up to two years for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was reached after five years of talks by 12 countries in Atlanta on Monday, to be ratified in Vietnam, the lead Vietnamese negotiator of the trade deal said. “Other countries also pledge to provide technical assistance to Vietnam in fulfilling its commitment,” he added. Read more