Ho Chi Minh City to keep close eye on chemical business after food hygiene scares

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Containers of chemical substances displayed at a store at Kim Bien Market, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Doc Lap Containers of chemical substances displayed at a store at Kim Bien Market, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Doc Lap

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In a new effort to address persistent food safety problems, Ho Chi Minh City authorities reportedly plan to tighten control over distributors of chemicals, who are accused of supplying toxins used in many of local foods.
The city will establish an 11-hectare center in District 8 to house more than 600 chemical shops next year, reports said, citing a plan which was discussed at a municipal meeting Tuesday.
A majority of the targeted stores are in Kim Bien, a District 5-based wholesale market dubbed "death market" after its exposure by the media as the supplier of dangerous substances in numerous food safety scares.
Tran Vinh Tuyen, vice chairman of the city People's Committee, was quoted as saying at the meeting that removing the chemical business from Kim Bien is not only to secure the market's fire safety.
The "most important" thing is that only when the stores are brought to the center and thus under better oversight would local authorities be able to ensure food safety and hygiene, he said.

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