Friday, November 4, 2016

MARD to bolster the fight against prohibited substances in prawns

Prawns injected with illegal chemicals not only pose a food safety threat to consumers, but also damage the reputation of Vietnamese prawns in the international market. – Photo
HÀ NỘI – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has issued a plan to control the injection of prohibited substances and stop the abuse of chemicals, antibiotics and veterinary drugs in prawn cultivation, in a bid to put an end to these harmful practices by 2018.
The ‘centers’ of shrimp farming and exporting- namely the Southern provinces of Cà Mau, Sóc Trăng, Bạc Liêu, and Kiên Giang – will bear a larger share of the responsibility to ensure the plan’s success.
The provinces’ authorities are tasked with conducting inventory and ensuring prawn farms and processing manufacturers and retailers operating in the localities sign documents stating they won’t inject prawns with prohibited chemical substances or trade these “dirty” prawns.
These provinces’ relevant authorities need to issue early warnings of diseases and timely guidance on effective disease prevention and treatment measures for prawn farmers.
Awareness raising campaigns are also necessary to decrease violations. Farmers must be made aware on how to use the right types of veterinary drugs or antibiotics, in the right doses, at the right time and by the right method (the ‘four rights’), as well as not to use illegal substances.
Under the newly issued plan, authorities will be required to redouble their monitoring efforts and increase unannounced inspections to timely discover and administer sanctions against businesses – prawn farmers, purchasers and retailers – who flout regulations.
Under the given roadmap, Vũ Văn Tám, Deputy Minister of MARD orders that, by the end of this year, the rate of prawns with higher antibiotic residue than permitted level, and the rate of prawn batches slapped with ‘unsafe’ warnings by Vietnamese and prawn-importing countries’ authorities must be reduced by 10 per cent compared to last year’s figure.
Going forward, by 2017, these rates are supposed to be cut back by 50 per cent
MARD expects that by 2018, high level antibiotic residue and other types of contamination in prawns will cease completely.
MARD proposed that the Việt Nam’s Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers continue and further promote the campaign “Enterprises say no to contaminations;” continue providing feedback and recommendations from customers, importers and consumers about chemical and antibiotic residue; and work in close collaboration with relevant authorities, provincial and municipal Steering Committees 389 in providing information for inspection and dealing with violations. – VNS


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