EU turns away toxic Vietnamese seafood

By Toan Dao   October 6, 2016 | 01:42 pm PT
11 shipments of Vietnamese seafood have been turned back.

Eleven shipments of Vietnamese seafood have been turned back by the European Union in the first nine months of the year due to high levels of heavy metals, according to a statement posted on Vietnam's National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Department's (Nafiqad) website.

The shipments were contaminated with mercury and cadmium, Nafiqad cited information from the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) as saying.

The quantity rejected by the E.U. from January to September was 2.2 times higher than the whole of 2015, Nafiqad said.

On August 15, Vietnamese authorities warned local aquaculture companies that they will not renew their export licenses unless the latter comply with safety standards following a warning from the E.U. after seafood shipments were found to contain excess levels of antibiotics.

The EU instructed member countries to increase inspections of seafood shipments from Vietnam to the bloc in May this year following the toxic spill caused by Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group along the central coast in April.

Nafiqad has also asked exporters to follow instructions released on May 11 to monitor seafood from the four affected central provinces and test for heavy metals.

The European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feedwas established in 1979. It enables information to be shared efficiently between its members and provides a round-the-clock service to ensure that urgent notifications are sent, received and responded to collectively and efficiently.

Thanks to the RASFF, many food safety risks had been averted in Europe.

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