Vietnamese agencies have found excessive amounts of a toxic pesticide in pears imported from China, the agriculture ministry said at a Friday meeting.
According to the ministry's Plant Protection Department, they found endosulfan in one pear sample during their tests on 315 samples taken from imported vegetables last month end.
Banned in Vietnam and most countries around the world, endosulfan can affect human central nervous system if consumed in high doses. In severe cases, it can lead to death.
Also at the meeting, Nguyen Xuan Hong, chief of the department, announced that they have introduced formaldehyde, which is used as disinfectant and embalming fluid, into the lists of banned chemicals that need to be tested for in imported vegetables and fruits.
Earlier, last week the ministry ordered tests on fruits and vegetables sold in Vietnam, following reports that vegetable sellers in China have been caught spraying cabbages with a formaldehyde solution to keep them fresh in transit.
Last year the US National Toxicology Program declared the solution as a human carcinogen.
Nguyen Xuan Duong, deputy chief of the Plant Protection Department, claimed that they have temporarily controlled the trade and use of beta-agonists, a growth promoter, in pig breeding.
He said they have not detected the agent, which is banned in livestock breeding, in the samples of pig urine and pork collected over the past few weeks.
In March, local media reported the abuse of beta-agonists among pig farmers. The reports, which said that the substances pose a health treat to humans, causing indigestion, increased heart rate and other conditions, stirred up public fears and a boycott of pork.
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