National Assembly deputies agreed that
the early introduction of a Law on Food Hygiene and Safety would usher in
a major improvement in food hygiene standards from production to the
At a discussion in the House on June 10, Dang Vu Minh,
chairman of the National Assembly Committee for Science, Technology and
Environment, reported that unsafe food could cause 400 types of diseases,
including diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, and bird flu.
Dao Xuan Nay of Lam Dong Province said unsafe food affects
not only peopleís health but also the economy and the nationís prestige
A Ministry of Health report says there were 906 outbreaks of
food poisoning around the nation between 2004 and 2008, resulting in 267
deaths and 5,769 people falling ill.
On average, 53 people die every year of food poisoning from
181 outbreaks, it added.
Most lawmakers agreed that food safety is among peopleís
biggest concerns now and said it is necessary to enact a law to replace
the Ordinance on Food Hygiene and Safety.
Many members blamed the Government for not resolving the
issue earlier despite its urgent nature.
Mr. Nay urged the Government to allocate more funds for food
safety and hygiene, increasing per capita outlay from VND1,100 to
It may be a big burden, but it has to be done for the sake
of community health, he said.
Le Thi Nguyet of Vinh Phuc said the law should focus on
Government oversight, the responsibilities of food processing and trading
companies, and penalties for those flouting food-handling rules.
Some delegates spoke of the need to test imported foods,
improve testing laboratories, and strengthen human resources.
Nguyen Thanh Thuy of Binh Dinh Province called for quickly
modifying the ordinance on penalties and closely control import
She underlined the importance of strengthening education on
hygiene laws, especially on the ethics of food trading and production.
She stressed the need for regulating food advertising in the
Deputies pointed out that implementation of existing food
hygiene and safety rules is tardy due to a lack of coordination between
the Government and local authorities.
Closing the discussion, Minister of Health Nguyen Quoc Trieu
said food hygiene should become a key national concern.
NA Deputy Chairman Nguyen Duc Kien said a resolution on food
safety and hygiene would be issued for adoption by the House by the end
of the current session.