Vietnam reports first death from recent cholera outbreak

A dog meat vendor weighs produce at his shop in Hanoi

A dog meat vendor weighs produce at his shop in Hanoi

HANOI (AFP) — Vietnam has recorded its first cholera death during an outbreak that has spread to 11 out of 63 provinces and cities across the communist nation, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The 50-year-old victim from northern Ninh Binh province died on May 12 a few hours after hospitalisation, said a Ministry of Health website report.

The victim was an alcoholic who tested positive for vibrio cholera bacteria. He had diarrhoea and serious dehydration, the ministry said.

It added that a total of 53 patients have been confirmed with cholera since April 20, while more than 500 others had acute diarrhoea.

In March and April last year the country battled cholera outbreaks which hit Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and 16 other provinces. More than 100 people were infected but no fatalities were reported.

Vietnam has a long standing problem with food safety and hygiene.

Authorities in Hanoi have temporarily closed at least a dozen dog slaughterhouses — where the popular meat is prepared — over fears their unhygienic conditions may help spread cholera bacteria to people, an official said Monday.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection transmitted through water or food contaminated with the bacteria vibrio cholera. It causes diarrhoea and dehydration and can lead to kidney failure and death if untreated.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says cholera can be easily avoided through good hygiene, especially by washing hands with soap after using the toilet.

The WHO on Tuesday referred to a 2006 survey of rural sanitation that found only 12 percent of people washed their hands before eating, 15.5 percent washed after urinating, and 16.9 percent cleaned their hands after defecating. The survey was carried out by Vietnam’s Department of Preventative Medicine and Environment.

Bacteria from the faeces of a contaminated person are one of the main sources of cholera contamination, the WHO says.

As part of its joining the World Trade Organization two years ago, Vietnam’s food safety needs to adapt to international standards, WHO said.

“Coordination of activities to ensure safe practices into the entire food chain is a challenging task for Vietnam’s government,” it said.

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Vietnam dog slaughterhouses shut on health fears

A dog slaughterhouse is seen in Hanoi

A dog slaughterhouse is seen in Hanoi

May 18, 2009

HANOI (AFP) — Authorities in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi have temporarily closed at least a dozen dog slaughterhouses on fears their unclean conditions may help spread cholera bacteria to people, an official said Monday.

Dog meat is a popular dish in Vietnam.

It was unclear when the slaughterhouses in Hanoi’s suburban Duong Noi would be allowed to resume operations, local official Nguyen Thi Thuc told AFP, without providing more details.

The health ministry said on its website that cholera bacteria had been found in the slaughterhouses.

Cholera is spread through unsafe food.

Eight northern cities and provinces are presently hit by outbreaks of acute diarrhoea, including hundreds of cases of suspected cholera, officials and press reports said.

Communist Vietnam has a longstanding problem with food safety and hygiene.

In March and April last year the country battled cholera outbreaks which hit Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and 16 other provinces. More than 100 people were infected but no fatalities were reported.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection transmitted through water or food contaminated with the bacteria vibrio cholera. It causes diarrhoea and dehydration and can lead to kidney failure and death if untreated.

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Vietnam Coffee-Farmers sell more as prices rise

HANOI, April 14 – Coffee sales in Vietnam further strengthened in the past week as farmers sold more stocks of the commodity to exploit higher prices and strong demand from exporters, traders said on Tuesday.

They said domestic prices had risen more than 6 percent in the past month on robust demand from foreign buyers as well as higher London futures prices.

On Tuesday, the industry body Vietnam Coffee Association (Vicofa) said domestic prices in Daklak, Lam Dong and Gia Lai, the country’s largest growing provinces, averaged 24,900 dong-25,000 dong ($1.4-$1.41) per kg, from 24,800 dong on Monday and 23,500 dong a month ago.

Free-on-board prices for spot shipments stood at $1,450 a tonne on Tuesday, up $15 from $1,435 on Monday and $1,430 a tonne a week ago, Vicofa said.

“We expect sales from farmers to stay strong throughout this week as the current price level should encourage them to unload stocks,” a trader in Daklak capital Buon Ma Thuot said.

Traders said discounts to London’s May contract stood at $120 per tonne for spot shipment, making Vietnamese robusta grade 2, 5 percent broken at $1,450 a tonne, free-on-board basis , in line with Vicofa’s reports.

About 5,000 hectares (12,400 acres) of coffee crops in Daklak, Vietnam’s top growing province, are being affected by a severe dryness, state media quoted the provincial government as saying this week.

The six-month dry season is in full swing in Daklak. It often ends late this month or in early May.

Vietnam, the world’s second-largest coffee producer after Brazil, forecast last week its exports of the commodity would be steady at between 900,000 tonnes and 1 million tonnes (15 million-16.7 million bags) this year and in 2010 [ID:nHAN497014].

The coffee crop year runs from October to September but all government reports on production and trade in coffee, 95 percent of which is the robusta variety used for making soluble coffee, are based on the calendar year.

Most of this year’s coffee exports will come from the 2008/2009 harvest that ended in January. Farmers often retain part of the current stock to blend with beans from the next harvest due to start in late October for sales.

The coffee association has revised down nearly 6 percent its estimate of the harvest output, to 16 million bags, from a December figure of 17 million bags.

Vietnam exported 10.08 million bags between last October and March 2009, up 16.2 percent from a year earlier, government statistics show. ($1=17,750 dong)

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Vietnam capital bans poultry transport by motorbike: report

Vietnam capital bans poultry transport by motorbike

Vietnam capital bans poultry transport by motorbike

HANOI (AFP) — Vietnam’s capital Hanoi has banned the transportation of poultry and cattle on motorbikes and bicycles for fear it could help spread epidemics, state media said Tuesday.

The ruling, which was issued on January 22 but only became effective Monday, said poultry, cattle and their associated products must be transported using specialised vehicles only, said online VietnamNet.

However, the newsite ran a video clip showing live meat products were being driven in the city early Tuesday morning on motorbikes, a popular means of transport in Vietnam for poultry, pigs or even dogs.

At present, Vietnam, which has been frequently hit by the H5N1 strain of bird flu since 2003, reports the avian influenza among ducks only in the Mekong delta province of Ca Mau.

The country has already seen a human bird flu case this year, an eight-year-old girl from northern Thanh Hoa province who has now recovered.

According to health officials, her 13-year-old sister earlier died in hospital but was not tested for H5N1 before she was buried.

Bird flu has killed 52 people in Vietnam, while the world’s highest death toll belongs to Indonesia with 113 fatalities.

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Vietnam to grow genetically modified crops: reports

Cao Duc Phat

Cao Duc Phat

HANOI (AFP) — Vietnam plans to test genetically modified (GM) agricultural crops from now until 2010 and then grow them on a large scale, media reports in the communist country said on Thursday.

Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat announced the plan in a National Assembly session this week, said the state-run Vietnam News Agency.

Under the government plan, Vietnam would from 2011 plant GM species of maize, cotton and soybean, said the news site Vietnamnet quoting experts attending a recent biotechnology workshop.

The Ho Chi Minh City Biotechnology Centre plans to grow a GM maize variety from the Philippines on a trial basis, the report said.

GM technology has been highly controversial, praised by some for increasing yields and improving varieties, and condemned by others for creating “frankenfoods” that pose dangers to the environment and people’s health.

Environmental group Greenpeace has called for a worldwide recall of GM foods, with a spokesman saying this week that distributing them was “like playing Russian roulette with consumers and public health.”

AFP: Vietnam to grow genetically modified crops: reports

Vietnam finds tainted milk from China

The Associated Press
Friday, October 3, 2008

HANOI, Vietnam: Vietnam’s health ministry has discovered the toxin at the heart of China’s tainted milk scandal in 18 products and has ordered importers to recall and destroy them, officials said Friday.

Recent tests found the industrial chemical melamine in dairy products and biscuits imported from China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, according to a statement on the Ministry of Health’s Web site.

Milk containing melamine has been blamed for killing four babies and sickening more than 54,000 others in China, sparking global concerns about food products made with Chinese milk or milk powder.

The Vietnamese statement did not list all the brand names that tested positive for melamine, but among them were five different varieties of Yili milk from China.

“We will intensify our inspections for melamine contamination to ensure the safety of consumers,” said Nguyen Thi Khanh Tram, vice director of Vietnam’s food safety administration.

Most of the contaminated items were milk and dairy products from China, the ministry said.

However, they also included biscuits imported from Malaysia and Indonesia as well as a powdered dairy creamer imported from Thailand. It was not clear whether the products had been produced in those countries or simply shipped to Vietnam from warehouses there.

Even before the test results were announced, retailers across Vietnam had begun removing tons of Chinese dairy products from their shelves and importers have been destroying them, according to Vietnamese media reports.

Vietnamese authorities have also said they will require all milk products to be tested before they can be imported into the country.

The milk scandal has sparked global concern about Chinese food imports and recalls in several countries of Chinese-made products.

Vietnam finds tainted milk from China – International Herald Tribune

Vietnam beefs up milk scrutiny as China scandal grows

More milk products of dubious origin unearthed as authorities conduct nationwide inspections.

The HCMC health watchdog quarantines YiLi milk products imported by the Kim An Company before destroying them.

The HCMC health watchdog quarantines YiLi milk products imported by the Kim An Company before destroying them.

Local authorities have been asked to inspect milk products and materials imported from China and promptly halt circulation of those that do not carry the required labels.

In an urgent dispatch issued Monday, Deputy Health Minister Cao Minh Quang instructed local health departments to work with agencies to collect samples of imported milk, particularly those from China, to examine whether they had been contaminated with melamine, a chemical used in various industrial and agricultural applications.

The test results must be reported back to the Ministry of Health at the soonest, the dispatch stressed.

Milk products and materials without legitimate labels must be taken out of circulation.

The ministry also Monday blacklisted 22 Chinese dairy firms that had sold melamine-contaminated products.

The Food Hygiene Safety Bureau has been asked to make a thorough review of documents pertaining to the license of imported milk to see if the blacklisted companies had sold their products in Vietnam.

The Ministry of Health urged intensified scrutiny of imported milk products as China’s toxic milk scandal escalated Monday with officials admitting around 53,000 children had been hospitalized after drinking milk presumably contaminated by melamine, the AFP reports.

Most had “basically recovered” but 12,892 children remained in hospital, a Chinese ministry official told AFP. More worms out of the can

In the central city of Da Nang, 60 cans of Ensure milk without Vietnamese usage-guidance labels have been discovered at seven stores, said Mac Nhu Chung, inspector deputy chief of the municipal health department.

Authorities have also confiscated around 17.5 kilograms of milk without labels or of dubious origin, Chung said.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the city market watchdog since last Monday has uncovered some four tons of milk whose origin were not proved. Inspectors also confiscated around two tons of cheese and milk flavoring without legitimate invoices.

HCMC authorities also said Monday they had quarantined 1,081 cartons of milk from Inner Mongolia’s YiLi Industrial Group, one of China’s three companies discovered with melamine in their milk products, pending destruction. Kim An Company in Phu Nhuan District had imported the milk consignment.

The HCMC health watchdog also asked Kim An to recall another 379 cartons of YiLi milk from the market, saying it would collect milk samples for melamine tests.

The Can Tho City police in the Mekong Delta said Monday they had unearthed around 3,600 cartons of milk of poor quality produced by Asian Food Company (AC Food) in HCMC’s District 12.

AC Food made headlines Monday as central and HCMC police said they had seized thousands of milk tins of the firm that were of low quality.

The products were widely sold in the central and southern regions, the police said. Tests by HCMC’s Institute of Hygiene and Public Health showed the actual nutritional ingredients in AC Food milk are not in accordance with what is stated in the packages.

The firm has also lied about its products’ origin and quality standards, the police said.

Ensuing investigations revealed Monday that AC Food had manufactured their products at a residential house covering an area of 80 square meters in District 12.

The production process was carried out with several rudimentary machines, the police said.

Reported by Thanh Nien staff


Source: Thanh Nien News

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