Opinion
It is Vietnamese killing each other
  • By Bui Hoang Tam | dtinews.vn | April 08, 2016 09:14 AM

Simple greed has fuelled many people to use harmful chemicals in the production of food, wreaking destruction on the environment despite the dire consequences it has for their fellow country people.

 

Watering vegetables with kerosene, planting vegetables in cemeteries or washing vegetables near sewers make headline news and cause fear among public. There are also stories of rice soaked in pesticides, huge amount of antibiotic residue found in shrimp, fish and pork, chicken meat painted with varnish and beef pumped full of water to gain weight.

Thanks to its dirty food, dirty water and air in another five years Vietnam will probably see a cancer epidemic because now over 100,000 are already diagnosed with this illness each year. The people are being poisoned and their lives are being put in danger in ways that have never been seen before.

"The road from the stomach to the cemetery has never seemed so short and straight," said National Assembly Deputy Tran Ngoc Vinh.

It's us, the Vietnamese, who have been creating this expressway to early deaths because of greed, no matter how small the profit is.

We are the ones who water vegetables with kerosene or with excessive pesticide then sell it to each other.

We are the ones who apply varnish to meat and make spoiled food looks fresh again by using chemicals and then sell it on to local restaurants.

We are the ones who feed fish urea fertiliser and import nine tonnes of salbutamol and then use most of it to feed our livestock.

We transport the harmful chemicals into our country and look the other way to let such transportation pass. We are polluting the air we breathe in and killing our rivers.

Don't blame other countries or say that we are being poisoned by others, because we are doing it to ourselves.

It's time to wake up and agencies must step in. We must consider the fight against dirty food the same as the fight against corruption or external enemies, because dirty food will kill our future generations.

The most exciting recent news was that the Vietnam Fatherland Front will begin to play a role in food safety. Chairman of Vietnam Fatherland Front, Nguyen Thien Nhan, said as a society we cannot ignore the 100,000 people diagnosed with cancer each year because of their surroundings and food. He considered it a debt that state agencies and the fatherland front owe to the people.

"Using dirty food is the same as using poison and Vietnamese should not poison each other. Manufacturers must make a commitment that 'as a cultured and civilised people, I can't be involved with the manufacturing products that are not safe for other people,” he said.

The revised Criminal Code which will take effect from July also increased the penalties for violating hygienic food regulations. People who use banned substances in the manufacturing, processing and preservation of food will face up to 20 years in prison. The previous Criminal Code required immediate consequences such as death and serious health problems to occur and violators only faced five years of imprisonment.

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