Agricultural authorities have been ordered to
test fruit and vegetables on the Vietnamese market on Thursday, following recent reports that vegetable sellers in China have been caught spraying cabbages with a formaldehyde solution to keep them fresh in transit.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat asked the ministry's plant protection department to work with the product quality control department to publicize the results of their tests in the media before May 20.
China's news agency Xinhua reported Monday that dozens of wholesale vegetable dealers in the city of Qingzhou - Shandong Province - were caught selling cabbages sprayed with formaldehyde.
It said the practice has become widespread over the last three years due to higher temperatures that cause the produce to rot quicker in transit.
Formaldehyde, used as a disinfectant and embalming fluid, was declared a known human carcinogen by the US National Toxicology Program last year. It is also a skin, eye and respiratory irritant.