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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Seafood industry rejects Italian allegations against fish quality  (อ่าน 2161 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: เมษายน 14, 2009, 11:34:34 AM »

Source: Thanh Nien News & Vietnam News Agency                      World News    13/04/2009 22:45:27

Minh Quang

Vietnam's seafood association has once again offered assurance about the quality of Vietnamese pangasius following allegations in the Italian media that the catfish is farmed in polluted waters.

 

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said the reports are unfair and there is no evidence to show that Vietnamese pangasius is harmful to consumers’ health.

 

The Vietnam Trade Office in Italy said in a report Thursday that there have been several reports since late last year alleging catfish imported from Vietnam is raised in polluted fields.

 

The reports have caused apprehension about the quality of Vietnamese seafood in Italian consumers, it said.

 

The office said Slow Food, an Italian non-profit eco-gastronomic organization, would hold a seminar in Genova next week to discuss the import of Vietnamese catfish.

 

The organization, founded in 1989 to counteract fast food, fast life, and the disappearance of local food traditions, hopes to create pressure on the Italian government through the seminar, it said.

 

The seminar would be attended by Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies Luca Zaia, the office said.

 

VASEP suspects the campaign against Vietnamese pangasius could be led by Italian catfish producers.

 

Russia and Egypt recently slapped a ban on Vietnamese tra catfish on safety grounds but lifted it later.

 

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Luong Le Phuong said the ministry has been holding talks with authorities in foreign markets and showing them evidence and certificates that the fish is of good quality and raised in clean environments.

 

For the campaign in Italy, he said the ministry would ask its quality authorities to guarantee shipments to that country and stop licensing exporters who flout quality regulations.

 

Pangasius, an icon of the Vietnamese seafood industry, met the quality requirements of the European Commission, which has approved more than 300 Vietnamese exporters over the last few years, he pointed out.

 

Authorities in Russia and Egypt reopened their markets to Vietnamese pangasius after they verified the evidence and saw for themselves aquaculture practices in the Mekong Delta which produces most of the fish.

 

Phuong’s boss, Minister Cao Duc Phat, told exporters at a meeting last week that the ministry would be willing to speak to authorities in markets where there are concerns about the quality of the fish or seafood products from Vietnam.

 

Seafood was a major export item for the country last year, fetching US$4.6 billion, a 21.2 percent increase.

 

Exports edged down 8 percent in the first quarter this year to $580 million, with the European market being the largest at 26 percent, according to VASEP.

 

Source: Thanh Nien News

 

 
 
 
 
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