VIETNAM: Markets flooded with cancer-causing food from China

Corruption among Vietnamese border guards is the cause of these illegal shipments of hundreds of thousands of products into the country.  Each year 300,000 new cases of cancer are reported n Vietnam.  


Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of food cross from China into Vietnam for sale in local markets. A lot of it is adulterated or containing cancer-causing agents, kept in toxic plastic bags or stored without any concern for minimum hygienic standards or health safety regulations.

Each year, some 300,000 new cases of cancer are recorded in Vietnam; 60 per cent end in death. Most of them are linked to toxic or badly preserved food. Food poisoning is also commonplace.

Food products made in China like dried fruits (peaches, apricots and apples) are sold with “three times the level of additives permitted,” which can cause cancer; additives like saccharin, sodium cyclamate, carmine, amaranth and sulphur dioxide.

China monopolizes sales of dried fruits because its “prices are 30 to 50 lower” compared to Vietnamese products. It is a flourishing business even though everyone knows that they are “dangerous products.”

Food safety experts told AsiaNews that “many products sold in Vietnam do not have a clear point of origin” and are “without safety warranties.”   However, Vietnamese authorities are hard pressed to stop the flow because of widespread corruption at border posts among customs officials who turn a blind eye in exchange for money.

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