Vietnamese consumers find it hard to trust food safety management: experts

Thanh Nien News

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A woman buying vegetables from a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thanh Nien A woman buying vegetables from a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thanh Nien

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Only 30 percent of consumers in Hanoi believe that foods with safety certificate are safe, according to Nguyen Thi Hong Minh, a former deputy agriculture minister.
The proportion in Ho Chi Minh City is higher, at 70 percent, the media quoted a survey done by her as saying.
Depending on the sector, the three agencies that issue food safety certificates are the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Health and Industry and Trade.
But according to Minh, all three fail to carry out sufficient surveillance after issuing the certificate.
Test results can be "bought" while other certificates can be easily obtained without any food safety tests, she said.
Nguyen Tien Lap of the Ho Chi Minh City-based NhQuang and Associates Law Firm said there have been many cases of contradictory food testing results that have confused consumers and damaged the reputations of the companies involved, he said.
According to the Ministry of Health, 1,386 people suffered food poisoning in the first four months this year, two fatally.
Last year 4,965 people were affected and 23 died.
Minh said many people are turning to growing safe vegetables at home, which shows that they no longer trust the products in the market.
“But they cannot meet all their own needs and have to buy in the market. So the [management] of safe foods should be more transparent and effective.”

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