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Food products violate label laws   2009-06-22 - Viet Nam News

HCM City lacks sufficient staff to conduct inspections of shops that sell products without expiration and production dates or brandnames, city officials have said.

Duong Cong Khanh, an official with the Market Management Bureau, said the bureau regularly inspected invoices and label-of-origin certificates of food products at markets, but does not have enough inspectors to cover such a large market.

Huynh Le Thai Hoa, head of the HCM City Department of Health's Food Hygiene and Safety Management Division, said the city's Market Management Bureau had sole responsibility for inspecting the quality and safety of unlabelled food products.

Unlabelled food products, which do not identify the producer or country of origin, are typically confectionery, spices and dried food.

They are being sold at several HCM City markets in districts 6, 7, 8 and Nha Be.

A trader at Binh Tay market in District 6 said unlabelled food products were 20-30 per cent cheaper than labelled ones.

He said most of his buyers were from HCM City and neighbouring provinces of Long An, Dong Nai and Binh Duong.

Eighty per cent of his shop's unlabelled food products are made in China.

Nguyen Thi Thuy, a customer at Binh Tay market, said she had often bought unlabelled agar powder and coconut jelly products, but had stopped because she was unsure of hygiene and quality.

Toys, clothing

In addition to food, the Market Management Bureau last week stepped up inspection of clothes and toys made in China's Guangdong province, following reports in Chinese newspapers that the items contained formaldehyde, which can cause respiratory and skin diseases.

Last week, the Tan Binh district Market Management Team confiscated 1,854 jeans and khaki trousers and 3,000 pullovers at three shops in An Dong and Tan Binh markets because the seller did not have invoices.

The Binh Chanh district Market Management Team seized 47 Chinese-made plastic guns and sword toys at a toyshop in Phong Phu commune because the owner had no invoices. Some of the items had been banned from the market.

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