Authorities lax in dealing with toxic Chinese goods

Vietnamese authorities have been lax at dealing with banning of toxic Chinese drinking cups found tainted with lead.

Plastic cups printed with cartoon characters imported from China are found tainted with lead (File)

The Lam Dong Department of Quality Measurement Standards said on April 13 that during inspections, most companies dealing in Chinese drinking glasses, porcelain cups and plastic bottles printed with images and cartoon characters did not have markings showing their base of manufacturing.

The department tested 15 cups, of which seven glass cups were found contaminated with lead at 1,488-2,866 times higher than safety limits and one plastic cup contained lead 8.1 times higher than safety limits.

Earlier, the Goods Product Quality Management Bureau also warned of Chinese glass cups and plastic bottles for children found in the market, which were toxic with lead, thousand times higher than safety limits.

The bureau said the cups also contained other toxic substances that may be harmful for children.

Despite warnings by authorities, many shops in Dong Xuan wholesale market, Hang Khoai Street and Phung Hung Street in Hanoi still sold these drinking cups imported from China.

The shops claim these cups sell like hot cakes because of their reasonable price and beautiful designs.

The Food Safety and Hygiene Bureau of the Health Ministry can only issue warnings to consumers but cannot penalize sellers nor recall the products, as this does not come under their jurisdiction.

The head of the Goods Product Quality Management Bureau under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said the bureau’s duties are to manage, inspect and issue warnings of the quality of goods, not to prosecute violators.
Meanwhile, the Market Management Bureau under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which is responsible for inspecting the quality of goods and dealing with violators, said only newspapers have reported porcelain drinking cups printed with cartoon characters containing lead toxic.

The bureau said it has yet to receive any official report from the Goods Product Quality Management Bureau or the Food Safety and Hygiene Bureau.

Scientists have long proved that heavy metals like lead or catmi can cause damage to the brain, kidney and bone marrow. At a certain higher level of dosage, they can also cause cancer.

By Nguyen Quoc – Translated by Tu Duyen

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