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« เมื่อ: พฤศจิกายน 30, 2006, 10:20:20 AM »

Source: The Standard  World News    29/11/2006 17:19:07

 
 Tensions rise at fish embargo


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Jonathan Cheng

Tensions in the food fight between Hong Kong and the mainland were ratcheted up again as Guangdong fish suppliers abruptly halted their exports to the territory, accusing local officials of being too "picky" on safety standards.

 

The embargo - which virtually emptied wholesale fish markets Tuesday - forced Permanent Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Carrie Yau Tsang Ka-lai to rush to Beijing for high-level emergency sessions to smooth out the crisis.

 

After a day of meetings with high- level officials, Yau emerged with what she called a consensus that Hong Kong authorities had handled the crisis properly.

 

It was not immediately clear, however, whether Yau's visit to the capital would mean a swifter resumption of mainland fish imports to Hong Kong.

 

The fish controversy broke to the surface just days ago when trace amounts of malachite green, a prohibited and potentially dangerous chemical, were found in freshwater fish imported from Guangdong.

 

Malachite green is a synthetic dye used to color silk, wool, cotton and paper.

 

Scientists say high levels of the toxin may cause cancer and changes in DNA.

 

Though officials have insisted the embargo was launched for purely economic reasons, it is widely believed Guangdong fish suppliers were retaliating against what they perceived as unfair treatment from Hong Kong officials, symbolized by the detention of a boatload of suspected tainted fish Monday.

 

The move left wholesale fish markets silent all day, with vendors fearful about the future and idle food transporters demonstrating to demand a swift government response to the crisis.

 

During the day, several members of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong showed up at the offices of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department with a basket of food to demand improvements in the food inspection process.

 

Guangdong fish suppliers, meanwhile, continued to take a defiant stand, shrugging off the cost of withholding the fish from Hong Kong.

 

"We stand to lose nothing. The fish can be sold on the mainland too," one supplier in Shunde said.

 

They insisted they would not resume supplies until confidence was restored in Hong Kong.

 

The Guangdong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau got more to the point, lashing out at Hong Kong authorities for taking their inspection samples of freshwater garoupa from Hong Kong fish markets - not from the mainland source.

 

Because of the complexities of the supply chain, the bureau said, placing the blame on Guangdong was "problematic" and "unscientific."

 

Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow Yat-ngok said he understood the dissatisfaction of many mainland producers, but felt some "had, perhaps, overreacted."

 

But he conceded the Center for Food Safety, which is charged with inspecting the incoming foods, had some areas for improvement.

 

Still, Chow hoped Yau's meeting with General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine officials in Beijing would sort out some of the discord.

 

After her meeting with officials Tuesday, Yau claimed a "series of enhancement measures" on imports of mainland chicken and duck eggs, which will now come with health certificates to guarantee food safety and allow officials to track the source of eggs.

 

Farms will now be thoroughly inspected and their results published online, with only approved farms allowed to export their eggs.

 

Beginning January 1, egg packages must specify the name, address and registration number of the producer.

 

Punishment will also be increased. Offending egg suppliers will now have their right to export eggs revoked if they are discovered to have violated health rules.

 

The egg-related measures came in response to a similar crisis earlier this month over traces of Sudan red dye found in eggs imported into Hong Kong.

 

Sudan red dye is a carcinogenic chemical.

 

The apparent diplomatic breakthroughs came as scientists stepped forward to declare the health crisis over. Ho Yuk-yin, the acting controller of the Centre for Food Safety, called a press conference Tuesday evening to announce further testing on eggs and fish revealed no additional cases of Sudan red or malachite green.

 

Ho said he believed the egg situation was under control and the egg-related risks were now "relatively low."

 

"We believe the supply of affected eggs has stopped, and that public health is quite safely protected," Ho said.

 

In total, he added, seven of the 187 samples the government inspected were found to have Sudan red dye, while none tested positive in the past three days.

 

With regard to the fish, Ho said a further 13 samples of freshwater fish had been inspected with no traces of malachite green or any other dangerous substance.

 

The malachite green discovered this week, he added, was likely from environmental contamination - not from any attempt by fish farmers to treat fungal infections on fish.

 

Ho encouraged importers to stick to registered fish farms to ensure any future problems could be quickly traced to its source. He also promised to pass along test results to Guangdong authorities for further follow-up.

 

All of this came as a small solace at the Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Market where traders were either surrounded by empty buckets or did not even bother to lift their shutters for business.

 

Many of them said confidence in food safety had suffered a severe blow over the past week, and they could not predict how much longer they could continue operating under the current conditions.

 

Speaking before Ho's late afternoon announcements, Tommy Hui Hon- man, chairman of the Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories Freshwater Fish Wholesale Association, said it would be hard to predict when imports would resume. But he noted that locally bred freshwater fish accounted for between 6 and 10 percent of total supplies.

 

Zheng Shining, a spokesman for the Guangdong Province Fresh and Frozen Import and Export Association, said he did not know when imports would resume.

 
 
 

 
 
 

 

 
 


Source or related URL: http://www.thestandard.com.hk
 
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« ตอบ #1 เมื่อ: พฤศจิกายน 30, 2006, 10:27:07 AM »




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Chester Yung
The price of freshwater fish is expected to soar today following the decision by Guangdong fish traders to suspend exports from midnight.

 

The decision by the Guangdong fish traders is believed to be in retaliation for the detention Monday morning of a boatload of suspected tainted fish from a registered fish farm in Foshan by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

 

Zheng Shi-ning, the spokesman of a fish traders' association in Guangdong, told Cable TV that fish traders had decided to suspend temporarily the delivery of freshwater fish to Hong Kong because the government singled out fish farms for blame after traces of the cancer-causing chemical malachite green had been found in samples of turbot, bream, garoupa and mud carp.

 

"Our association considered this is unfair to us. We can't carry on like this so we decided to suspend the supply to Hong Kong," Zheng said.

 

He did not indicate how long the suspension would last. Zheng's allegation was rejected by Deputy Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Cheuk Wing-hing, who said the decision to detain supplies was supported by test results.

 

Cheuk said the suspension of supplies by Guangdong was a "business decision" and would not comment when asked if it could be interpreted as revenge.

 

Tommy Hui Hon-man, of the Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories Freshwater Fish Wholesale Association, said the suspension would cut the supply of freshwater fish on the market by as much as 80 percent.

 

However, it would help restore the confidence of Hong Kong people in consuming fish, he said.

 

The suspension came as acting controller of the Centre for Food Safety Ho Yuk-yin announced two more freshwater garoupa samples had tested positive for malachite green.

 

In an attempt to restore the public's confidence in food imported from the mainland, senior Hong Kong health officials have flown to Beijing to hold top-level talks with mainland officials.

 

Speaking before leaving Hong Kong, Permanent Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Carrie Yau Tsang Ka-lai said the purpose of the visit was to discuss the community's concern about the mainland's export of unsafe products to Hong Kong.

 

Yau said the exporting territory had a key role to play in ensuring food safety even though Hong Kong had a sophisticated system for tracing problem food.

 Source or related URL: http://www.thestandard.com.hk
 
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« ตอบ #2 เมื่อ: ธันวาคม 07, 2006, 11:02:30 PM »

Gu Jia

Shandong fishery association yesterday reached a preliminary agreement with its counterpart in Shanghai to allow the province's turbot fish to be sold in the city's market as early as next week, Shanghai Morning Post reported today.



Sales of turbot from the province plunged about two weeks ago after the city's food safety authority announced it found small amounts of a cancer-causing antibiotic in the popular seafood dish. Beijing and Guangzhou also suspended selling the fish soon after.



"We are confident about the sales of turbot on Shanghai's market," a senior official with the association told the newspaper yesterday.



Shanghai's largest seafood market, the Tongchuan Road Aquatic Products Wholesale Market, has resumed selling turbots since this week.



Any turbots on sale in local markets must have quarantine certificates issued by the administrative department from their place of production, the city's health officials said.



"We require our Shandong counterpart to offer a name list of turbot farmers with good records in their province," said an official with the Shanghai Fisheries Trade Association, which is involved in the negotiation.



"Authentic quarantine certificates for the fish are a must," the official said.



Officials from Qingdao City of Shandong Province promised they would provide the name list and certificates. "We may collect public opinions on how to build a trustful brand for our local turbots," said an official from Qingdao.



A Shandong fishery medicine franchiser, surnamed Lu, said in a previous interview that almost all turbo fish breeders are using AOZ, a carcinogenic antibiotic.
 Source or related URL: http://www.shanghaidaily.com
 
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« ตอบ #3 เมื่อ: ธันวาคม 16, 2006, 01:20:25 PM »

Source: China People's Daily  World News    16/12/2006 13:02:33

The Chinese mainland will resume its freshwater fish supply to Hong Kong from Saturday, according to Hong Kong Health, Welfare and Food Bureau Friday.

 

A spokesman of the Bureau said the Guangdong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau have completed comprehensive inspection and quarantine work. The move aimed to ensure that freshwater fish should come from registered farms in accordance with the established safety requirements.

 

He emphasized that Hong Kong traders should import freshwater fish from registered farms in the Chinese mainland in order to ensure food safety.

 

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and other law-enforcement departments will mount operations to deter freshwater fish not accompanied with health certificates from entering Hong Kong, the spokesman said.

 

The Guangdong and Hong Kong authorities have been maintaining close co-operation on the resumption of Mainland freshwater fish supply to Hong Kong, and working towards the common goal of aiding traders in the two places to resume normal operation.

 


Source or related URL: http://english.people.com.cn
 
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