Viet Nam catfish meets Italian safety standards

Source of Article:  http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/showarticle.php?num=07BUS250409

(25-04-2009)

HA NOI — Italian authorities confirmed that Vietnamese basa catfish reached hygiene and food safety standards sufficient to continue consumption on the Italian market.

The declaration was sent via an official letter on Tuesday by Romano Marabelli, Head of the Department for Veterinary Public Health, Nutrition and Food Safety under the Italian Ministry of Health, to Luong Le Phuong, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

"We have informed the Parliament that no risks exist associated with the basa imported from Viet Nam," Marabelli wrote.

"Furthermore neither our country nor the EU Commission have ever adopted restriction measures on imports of basa from Viet Nam".

"Therefore I would like to assure you that no further problems have occurred in Italy concerning the consumption of the fish imported from your country."

Previously on April 13, Phuong sent a letter and documents to prove that the fish reached quality and food safety standards and that the water where the fish were cultivated in was not polluted after many negative articles on Vietnamese catfish appeared in Italy.

Phuong said the official letter from Italy would have a positive effect on the Italian market as well as other export markets that had seen negative information about the catfish, including Egypt and Spain.

"There is a large demand for the fish in Italy, so the Viet Nam trade office there and domestic enterprises exporting the fish should contact importers directly to provide correct information about the nutrition and cultivation environment for Italian consumers," Phuong said.

He said the ministry plans to invite a delegation of Italian enterprises to Viet Nam to participate in ‘Vietfish’, a seafood and basa products exhibition that will take place on June 12.

He said he expected the visit would provide participants with reliable information about Vietnamese basa and other seafood products.

"For a long-term target, Vietnamese seafood exporters should further improve quality, hygiene and food safety of basa to protect the reputation of the fish on the world market," Phuong said.

Tran Thanh Hai, Vietnamese Commercial counsellor in Italy, said Vietnamese exporters should inform their Italian partners about the quality and safety of their basa products. — VNS


 

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