Ministry denies report of fish sauce by Vinatas

The Department of Agro-Forestry, Seafood Processing and Salt Industry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) rejected a report of high level of arsenic in fish sauce announced by the Vietnam Standard and Consumers Association (Vinatas).

Container of fish sauce as per Vietnamese traditional making (Photo: U. Phuong)

Mr. Ngo Quang Tu from the Department of Agro-Forestry, Seafood Processing and Salt Industry said that the report by Vinatas is not transparent and its survey was conducted without care. To assess fish sauce, it needs a scientific council comprising of leading scientists to collect samples and carry out tests

He affirmed that after Vinatas’ report was released, fish sauce producers in the central provinces of Khanh Hoa sent its complaints to the department to object the report, adding that the information is based on no evidence and aims to eliminate Vietnamese traditional fish sauce.

Vinastas proposed publishing the information at a seminar on fish sauce in Ho Chi Minh City held by the Department of Agro-Forestry, Seafood Processing and Salt Industry on October 10th, but the Department turned it down. Mr. Tu stressed that Vietnamese traditional fish sauce had made for thousands of years and since 1970s Vietnam had set up national standards of quality for the sauce and it was mended in 2003.

Vietnam and Thailand jointly set up requirements for fish sauce as per the C O D E X  international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice contribute to the safety, quality and fairness of this international food trade.

By Phuc Hau – Translated by Uyen Phuong

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