Food safety a state management flop in Ho Chi Minh City: lawmaker

City dwellers have complained to lawmakers that they do not know where to find safe food since they are not sure about a reliable place

Are these vegetables safe to eat?

Ordinary people in Ho Chi Minh City have complained to local lawmakers that they have been mostly concerned about food safety, as they are not sure about a reliable place to buy safe food.

In reality, contaminated food and that without any certificate of origin have become omnipresent in every market.

The topical issue has got prominent in the agenda of the ongoing meeting of the 20th People’s Council of Ho Chi Minh City, a gathering of legislators at the municipal level.

Deputy Vo Van Sen from Go Vap District said bluntly at the meeting, “Ho Chi Minh City has failed when it comes to state management in the food safety area in the past time.”

Sen brought up a question, “Of tens of tons of vegetables transported to the city every morning, how many of them can we be sure about quality?”

“I think this is the weakest point and the biggest flop of the Ho Chi Minh City administration,” he stressed.

Deputy Trinh Xuan Thieu added that people in the city have felt insecure about the quality of food for quite a time.

“Many citizens told me they had read reports that goods from supermarkets were of poor quality too, so they had no reliable place to buy safe food.”

Major outlets such as CoopMart, Big C, and Metro have been reliable places for consumers to purchase food and other daily necessities.

Deputy Nguyen Hoang Minh from Tan Binh District protested that the city is not determined in management.

“Producing safe food certainly requires higher production cost and yields lower output. So, farmers producing safe food will be unable to compete in the market without legal and financial support from the government,” deputy Tran Ngoc Hung said.

Despite myriad complaints from residents, a representative from the city’s Plant Protection Agency said his unit had directly collected 1,000 samples of vegetables from farms for testing and the result showed that only eight of them failed to meet the set standards.

The agency also pooled 700 samples of vegetables on sale at supermarkets for another test and merely eight could not pass it, the representative added.

Besides food safety, deputies whined at the meeting that information on city planning has been inaccessible to many citizens.

The poor quality of bus service was also mentioned yesterday.

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