The roundtable entitled “Belgian Food Safety Agency’s Experience” took place in Hanoi on May 13. (Photo: Belgian Embassy to Vietnam)

Hanoi (VNA) – The roundtable entitled “Belgian Food Safety Agency’s Experience” took place in Hanoi on May 13 to share Belgian experience on food safety policies.

It was co-organised by the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP) and the Belgian Embassy to Vietnam.

Speaking at the event, Jean-Francois Heymans from Belgium’s Federal Agency for Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) gave attendees a brief introduction of the agency which was established in 2000 in response to a food safety crisis in the country.

Farms in Belgium have been ordered to cull a large amount of livestock after chickens and other animals were found to be fed with dioxin-contaminated feed in 1999, causing the country an economic loss of up to 500 million USD, he said.

Since then, the FASFC has worked to enforce measures related to food safety, animal health and plant protection to meet consumer demand as well as the European Union (EU)’s standards, Heymans noted.

Vietnam today is confronting food safety, making the issue top priority of Vietnamese people and government, he added.

Bui Huy Son, EU-MUTRAP Director, said experience from Belgium is important to Vietnam as there is an urgent need for Vietnamese state agencies to change their ways of operation and management in order to adapt to the development of the local food industry and ensure the implementation of food safety regulations and standards.-VNA