Is It Safe?: Spotlight on Food Safety in Vietnam
Eighty-six percent of Vietnamese people are concerned about food safety, according to a government report delivered to an ongoing meeting of the National Assembly, Vietnam's top legislature.
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The report also mentions that more than a fifth of the three million businesses involved in the food market have committed safety violations. This statistic is further exacerbated by records of more than 1,700 cases of food poisoning in the past five years, 164 of which proved fatal.
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said Nguyen Hoang Mai, vice chairman of the parliamentary Committee for Social Affairs.
Who Is Telling The Truth?
A study by a parliamentary working group released at the meeting also mentioned that unsafe food can be carcinogenic and is one of the leading causes of cancer in Vietnam.
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Phung Quoc Hien, vice chairman of the assembly and head of its unit in charge of supervising food safety, said that “unsafe food is giving Vietnamese people a long, slow death.” He added that 60-70 percent of diseases in Vietnam are related to food.
However, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien dismissed the conclusion, saying the leading cause of cancer in Vietnam is acute and chronic infection.
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