Vietnam takes action against seafood firms after EU issues food safety warning

By Dam Tuan   August 22, 2016 | 01:31 am PT
Poisonous chemicals in seafood shipments have left a bad taste in the mouth.

Vietnamese authorities have warned local aquaculture companies that they will not renew their export licenses unless the latter comply with safety standards following a recent warning from the European Union.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has taken the decision, which took effect August 15, after shipments to the E.U. were found to contain excess levels of antibiotics. 

Licenses will only be renewed when full investigations into the allegations have been carried out and measures have been taken to remedy the situation. The enterprises flagged by the E.U. will also have to pass strict inspections conducted by Vietnam’s National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department.


Vietnam is trying to improve food safety control over seafood products after banned substances were found in shipments to the E.U. Photo from

The European Commission's  Health and Food Safety Department blocked a Vietnamese agriculture firm from exporting goods to the bloc after traces of a banned antibiotic were found in its shipment earlier this month.

The department previously warned in April this year that seafood shipments from four Vietnamese aquaculture enterprises did not meet E.U. food safety requirements.

Catfish shipments from the Can Tho Export-Import Seafood JSC have been blocked by German authorities due to traces of sodium carbonate, and Spain will no longer accept the same fish from the Southern Fishery Industries Co Ltd after sodium erythorbate was detected.

Germany also raised the alert on canned tuna shipments that contained histamine, while the Netherlands has blocked shipments of swordfish from Khang Thong JSC after traces of mercury were found.

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