Sunday, October 23, 2016

All fish sauces are safe: Health Ministry

All fish sauces on the market are safe for human consumption, theMinistry of Health confirmed Saturday after a10-day inspection. – Photo
HÀ NỘI – All fish sauces on the market are safe for human consumption, the Ministry of Health confirmed Saturday after a10-day inspection.
Examination of randomly selected 247 samples of traditional and industrial fish sauces in five provinces and cities – Hà Nội, HCM City, Khánh Hòa, Ninh Thuận and Bình Thuận – found inorganic arsenic at permitted levels, the ministry said.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc had urged the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as the Ministry of Health to quickly publish their official findings in order to avoid misleading and confusion regarding the quality of fish sauce on the market.
Public concerns were sparked after the Việt Nam Standards and Consumers Association (Vinastas) issued a survey on October 17 which was said to have found arsenic much beyond the permitted level. But the information turned out to be misleading since the survey made no distinction between organic and inorganic arsenic content in fish sauce. The type of arsenic in traditional fish sauce mentioned in the survey was organicarsenic that is believed safe for humans.
Phúc’s order followed demands by the Việt Nam Association of SeafoodExporters and Producers (VASEP) and several other associations, urging the Government to protect the tradition fish sauce producers against incorrect information.
Phúc also tasked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to examine whether Vinastas violated regulations on providing information to the public. If any violation is found, the violator should be severely punished, he said.
The Ministry of Information and Communications was told to strictly deal with if any media found to have violated regulations on publishing information, he said.
All the ministries were asked to send reports to the Prime Minister before November 10.
In a related development, Minister of Public Security Colonel General Tô Lâm told reporters on Saturday that the ministry would co-operate with the Ministry of Information and Communications to investigate the process of revealing the misleading survey and causing public worries. – VNS


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