However, the seizures are only the tip of the iceberg, and a lack of effective solutions and co-ordination with the capital city’s neighbouring provinces is leading to local markets being flooded with risky food.
Can Xuan Binh, deputy head of Ha Noi Animal Health Department, yesterday said only 60 per cent of poultry transported to Ha Vy Market, the main poultry provider to the city, are checked. Meanwhile, the remainder hides under fake quarantine certificates.
Every day, about 80 tonnes of poultry are imported to this market. In addition, many kinds of food products without certificates of origin and those that fail to meet quality standards have been seized in the city’s markets.
During the first six months of the year, city authorities have detected and punished nearly 1,200 cases of violations relating to the trade and transport of counterfeit goods and products without clear origins. The fines totalled VND666 billion (US$31.7 million) but still fail to deter violators.
Binh said random checks at markets were not enough to fix the problem.
Relevant authorities and experts also expressed their concerns over the lack of co-ordination between border localities and city authorities to prevent smuggled poultry and other goods entering local markets.
Nguyen Thi Nhu Mai, head of Ha Noi Market Management Department, said while the city had to mobilise special task forces to battle smuggled poultry and food products, provinces such as Hung Yen said they did not detect many cases of smuggling.
Le Hong Thang, director of Ha Noi Industry and Trade Department, said it was necessary to make careful checks and perhaps incinerate smuggled food.