On June 22, food inspectors from Da Lat City raided potato storage facilities in Da Lat Farm Produce Market and Trai Mat area in Ward 11 and caught red-handed crooked sellers washing and coating Chinese potatoes with red soil to disguise them as Da Lat home-grown potatoes.
|Traders remove black dirt off Chinese potatoes before coating red soil on them. (Photo: SGGP)|
Some facilities were also using machines of 150 kilogram capacity to remove black dirt off Chinese potatoes.
According to receipts presented by traders, the consignments of Chinese potatoes were bought at VND3,344 per kilogram and sold to smaller traders for VND10,000 per kilo. Once these are wrapped in red soil they sell for more than VND20,000 per kilo.
This deception has been going on for years, but authorities seem powerless to prevent it because there is no law or regulation that bans traders from dyeing potatoes with red soil. Hence authorities barely check or slap penalties on potato consignments found with excess insecticides.
|Traders wrap red soil on Chinese potatoes to disguise them as Da Lat home-grown variety. (Photo: SGGP)|
However, according to a quick test done by Lam Dong Plant Protection Department, all potato samples collected at Da Lat Farm Produce Market contained harmful Chlorpyrifos insecticide.
Earlier, on June 15, authorities destroyed 26 tons of poor quality potatoes brought in from China and sold as Da Lat grown potatoes, as they were found exceeding permissible limits of Chlopyrifos pesticide by 16 times.
Excessive doses of Chlorpyrifos can lead to lung cancer and affect a baby’s health if consumed by pregnant women.