Ho Chi Minh City inspectors flag high proportion of Chinese fruit

Ho Chi Minh City Plant Protection Department, which supervises fruit and vegetable quality (particularly the use of chemical preservatives and fertilizers) for the municipal region, said recent tests found that at least 30 percent of Chinese fruit contains excessive traces of pesticides. An official at the department said fruit imports from other countries contain almost no pesticide residues.

Trái cây Trung Quốc nhiễm thuốc trừ sâu

The department tests five to ten fruit samples brought to the city wholesale markets every day, though the official admitted they can't check everything.
Dr Vo Mai, vice chairman of Vietnam Gardening Association and former deputy head of the plant protect department at the agriculture ministry, said the ratio of contaminated Chinese fruit is “quite serious.”

“Normally, pesticides stay in fruit five to seven days after being sprayed. But in these instances, they've persisted the long journey from China into Ho Chi Minh City; they were definitely sprayed too much,” Mai said.

Many vendors at the city wholesale markets said poisoning concerns have slowed down sales of Chinese fruits. However, many farmers say that the vendors still favour Chinese vegetables

Thu, a farmer from the Central Highlands resort town of Da Lat, said she's sitting on 120 tons of rotting onions. “I call vendors in Ho Chi Minh City every day but no one agrees to take mine. They said they would only do if my onions are as beautiful as the Chinese,” she told Tuoi Tre newspaper.

Thu said she's faced the same dilemma every year: local farmers harvested just as huge shipments come over the Chinese border.

A wholesaler in HCMC's Thu Duc District said she sells 30 tons of Chinese onions, shallots and garlic a day. She said they sell easy as they are cheap, at less than half a dollar for a kilograms of onion and around three for garlic.

Source: thanhniewnnews.com 

Publication date: 6/18/2014.