More chemical-laden Chinese fruits found in Vietnam

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Vietnamese authorities have found more imported Chinese fruits containing unsafe chemicals used to treat plant fungi, the Plant Protection Department said Monday (September 17).

Department director Nguyen Xuan Hong announced at a meeting in Hanoi that teams had conducted inspections of international border gates between August 10 and September 10 and took samples of fruits imported from China for tests.

Test results show that four samples of plums, grapes and pomegranates had excessive amounts of a fungicide used to control plant diseases, he said.

"A fresh plum collected at the Lang Son border gate contained carbendazim while two grape samples at the Lao Cai border gate contained difenoconazole.

"A pomegranate at the Lao Cai border gate contained tebuconazole and carbendazim."

Hong said the content of the chemicals was 1.5 to five times higher than allowed by Vietnamese food authorities.

Following the discovery, all Chinese plum, grape and pomegranate products arriving at the above-mentioned border gates have been sent back to their home country.

According to Hong, the Plant Protection Department will continue collecting fruits imported from China and other countries to test for chemicals.

In July and August, the department found three samples of Chinese grapes and potatoes out of 104 samples collected contained difenoconazole and chlorpyrifos (an insecticide) at levels 3-5 times higher than allowed.

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"These chemicals pose risks to human health, badly affecting the nervous system and the functions of organs like the heart, liver and kidneys," Hong said.

The department also plans to work with the Department for Management of Agricultural and Aquatic Products Quality to inspect the farms in China where the produce is grown.

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