Vietnamese seafood exporters oppose US allegations

TN News

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Vietnam's seafood exporters have strongly rejected the contention of Catfish Farmers of America that their products are "dirty" and of low quality.

"The allegations are slanderous and an unfair practice against Vietnamese seafood," the said Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers or VASEP said in a statement.

On the www.safecatfish.com website launched last month, Catfish Farmers of America alleged Vietnam's seafood shipments seriously violated food quality standards in the first quarter of 2010.

The website said that by examining the residues of banned chemicals and antibiotic at enterprises, it was found that the quality of Vietnamese seafood was affected during the pre-processing period, i.e., breeding, catching and preserving.

It said Vietnam needs to strengthen supervision of its exports, as well as the use of veterinary medicines.

The website has a 4.16 minute video clip about catfish production in the Mekong River titled "Dirty Waters, Dangerous Fish".

The video shows polluted rivers and fish-processing factories that are not well maintained.

VASEP said the tra fish or pangasius were raised in floating farms that meet international standards like SQF 1000 and GAP.

Seafood exports in the first four months of the year reached $1.2 billion. In April alone, export revenues of $350 million marked a 17.4 percent year-on-year increase, said the website which said EU continued to be the leading buyer of Vietnamese seafood, followed by Japan and the US.

The country's seafood export target of $4.5 billion this year, a year-on-year growth of 7.1 percent, can be reached, but it depends on Vietnam taking steps to deal with the abovementioned problems, the website said.

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