200,000 cancer-related deaths due to unsafe food reported annually

From 2011 to October, 2016, there had been around 1,007 food poisoning cases affecting 30,395 people; driving 25,617 people to hospitals and killing 164 others, said the food safety inspector at the Assembly National meeting yesterday.

Inspectors check food safety in Ben Thanh Market (Photo: SGGP)

Inspectors check food safety in Ben Thanh Market (Photo: SGGP)

The National Assembly inspectors said that the development of food poisoning and diseases caused by unsafe food is serious in some localities nationwide. 

Averagely, 168 cases are reported yearly with over 5,000 infected people and nearly 30 deaths.

As per the Ministry of Health’s report, around 70,000 people die of cancer and over 200,000 fresh cancer cases per year; most of cases are caused by eating unsafe food.

Moreover, according to the World Cancer Association’s survey, 35 percent of cancer cases due to unsafe food are preventable. 

Also the report said that during the period 2011 – 2016, seven diseases had brought 4,012,038  people in hospitals and killed 123 people; averagely 668,673 people had been affected by unsafe food and 21 others succumbed to the diseases; most of cases had been acute diarrhea.
It is estimated the rate of acute diarrhea due to unclean food in one year is 25.87 percent of the population. Localities report the development of gastrointestinal diseases is complicated.

Though the country has laboratories in ten provinces including the northern provinces of Lai Chau, Hung Yen, Ninh Binh, Dien Bien; the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Nam, and the Southern provinces of Binh Phuoc, An Giang, Ben Tre and Binh Duong but it has some remaining comprising of improper fee, less survey leading to less samples taken for tests.
Worse, tests of vegetables and fruits during the 2011- 2016 period showed that the chemical residues had exceeded the allowable level of 8.47 percent.

Illicit small slaughterhouses increased additional 285. Seriously, poultry and cattle were killed in theses slaughterhouses without veterinary tests. Southern cities and provinces carried out slaughter better than in the North. 

Just  a few food businesses and stores are inspected though the law of food safety took effect in 2010 but just 11,230 farms have applied Vietnamese Good Agriculture Practices (VietGap) standards. Good agricultural practice (GAP) standards have applied to some 12,7 thousands of hectares of growing vegetables in Vietnam, 1.5 percent of the country’s total vegetable acreage, and 1,553 hectare for breeding aquatic animals.

By ANH PHUONG – Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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