Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) –The sale of unhygienic food and products of unclear origin is concerning the public, with the entire political system needed to tackle the issue.

Quality goods have become a luxury for domestic consumers.

Toxic chemicals are found in many products, from fresh foods like shrimp, fish, fruit and vegetables to dried ones, seriously affecting human health.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said alarm bells have been ringing over smuggled goods and the misuse of pesticides in food production and preservation.

The ministry reported that more than 6,000 violations of food safety regulations were detected in 2015, including a case involving more than 10 tonnes of medicines produced abroad without brand names and another where 550 kg of additives without origin were uncovered in Hanoi.

This year, violations have shown no signs of decreasing but have increased rapidly. In the first three months of this year, more than 4,000 cases were brought to light, a quarter of which involved smuggled food.

According to the Ministry of Health, about 160,000 cases of cancer are recorded in Vietnam each year, with environmental pollution and unhygienic food blamed for many cases.

Aware of the risks of unsafe food, some households have stopped using outdoor catering services and purchased food from trustworthy producers.

Overall though, quality product suppliers have failed to win consumers’ trust and gain a foothold in the domestic market as Vietnamese people have a high demand for green food.

Nguyen Thi Thao, a shopkeeper at Famifood - a safe-food outlet, said most consumers prefer cheap products, while safe foods are sold at higher prices.

Vo Viet Dung, CEO of South Hanoi Food Processing JSC (SHFPGROUP.,JSC), expressed his concern over the fact that violators did not receive strict punishments.

Given this, he suggested increasing punishments for such violations and stepping up communication to raise public awareness of food safety.

The fight against unhygienic food requires the efforts of the entire political system. Over the years, market management forces have teamed up with competent agencies to cope with smuggled products.

However, their efforts have been futile as the situation is getting worse, sparking public anxiety.

To deal with the problem, more drastic measures are required as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said that the problem lies with how punishment-related regulations are observed.-VNA