By VIET NAM NEWS
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
During a conference on food quality, safety and hygiene in the agricultural sector, Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said food hygiene and safety were still problems and directly impacted society.
The ministry plans to prioritise supervising the use of agricultural materials, especially pesticides due to the risk of serious environmental pollution.
Any substance containing chemicals that harm people or the environment will be banned.
Last year, the ministry banned 300 kinds of pesticides.
In terms of fertiliser, Cuong said it was necessary to promote switching from inorganic to organic fertiliser.
Each year, up to 12 million tonnes of inorganic fertiliser is used for agriculture, causing pollution and reducing the quality of agricultural products.
The ministry will also focus on improving awareness in society about food hygiene and safety regulations.
Nguyen Van Viet, chief inspector of the ministry, said inspection teams would keep a close watch on drinking water for cattle and chemicals used on shrimp.
The teams would also inspect the responsibilities of local authorities in managing agricultural materials and food hygiene.
Reports from the ministry showed that last year’s percentage of pork contaminated with salbutamol, a banned substance to stimulate growth in animals that can affect human health, was 0.44. The percentage of the previous year was 1.07 per cent.
In the last six months of last year, no samples were found to contain the banned substance.
The percentage of vegetables containing pesticides was 4.1 per cent, a reduction of 3.66 percentage points from the previous year.
Authorised agencies inspected more than 21,360 businesses in agriculture, forestry and aquaculture and found 1,923 businesses to be in violation of the law.