Tainted egg scandal sparks political row in Germany

At first glance, the Vietnamese animal protein industry appears to have reached its full potential with a total market size of $18 billion, equivalent to over 9 per cent of the national GDP. The entire value chain includes animal feed, farming, and end-consumer products, both fresh and processed meat. However, Vietnam is still far away from realising the full potential of this sector. The animal protein sector is not only fragmented, but also inefficient and unproductive compared to the developed world. To be more specific, Vietnamese farmers require 3.5 to 4 kilogrammes of feed on average to produce a kilogramme of pork, versus the 2.5 kilogrammes in the US. The result is that Vietnamese consumers pay 1.5-2 times the price of meat compared to the US, while GDP per capita is only one-tenth of that in the US. Affordability is a key issue. At the grassroots level, millions of Vietnamese people do not have the appropriate levels of daily protein intake required for good health. In particular, the rural population, which accounts for almost 70 per cent of Vietnam’s population, consumes less than half of what is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Meat consumption in Vietnam is 40 kilogrammes per capita, which is substantially lower than China (60 kilogrammes), South Korea (65 kilogrammes), the EU (75 kilogrammes), and the US (over 100 kilogrammes). So, what is the key to transform and unlock the potential of…... [read more]

BUDAPEST: Hungary on Tuesday (Aug 15) became the latest European country to withdraw egg products imported from Germany containing the insecticide fipronil. Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves and destroyed across Europe and dozens of poultry farms closed since the discovery of contamination with fipronil, which can harm human health, was made public on Aug 1. (AFP/TENGKU Bahar) The EU member state's food safety agency Nebih said it had ordered the withdrawal of Asian-style frozen foods imported from Germany by a Hungarian catering trade supplier. "The Hungarian firm supplied catering units exclusively," Nebih said, adding that all of the suppliers' clients have been informed of the withdrawal order. The move followed a notification by Germany to the EU's food safety alert system that traces of fipronil had been found in the products of the exporter, Nebih said in a statement posted on its website. The insecticide has now been discovered in eggs in 17 European countries since the scandal came to light at the start of August and was even found as far away as Hong Kong. Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves and dozens of poultry farms closed, with the European Commission due to hold a crisis meeting in September. Fipronil, an insecticide, is commonly used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks from animals but is banned in the European Union from…... [read more]

The Ministry of Health will chair seven meetings on health-related issues during the third Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) and related meetings scheduled for August 18-30 in Ho Chi Minh City, said an official from the ministry.  Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy Director of the Health Ministry’s International Cooperation Department, said at a press conference in Hanoi on August 11 that the meetings will approve relevant strategies and policies in the APEC region as well as action plans of special working groups.  Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien will preside over the seventh High-Level Meeting on Health and Economy slated for August 23-28, he said, adding that the event is expected to help promote Vietnam’s initiative in inclusive economic, financial and social development through the building of a sustainable financial system in public health care and a roadmap that provides all people with health services.  The meeting is projected to issue a joint declaration and recommendations which will be sent to the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November 2017 in the central city of Da Nang, Cuong said. It is expected to bring together 280 domestic and international delegates, including representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN Population Fund and the World Bank, he added.  Within the framework of SOM3, Minister Tien is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price and Japanese Senator Keizo Takemin, and met with representatives of APEC partners…... [read more]

Hanoi (VNA) –The Ministry of Health will chair seven meetings on health-related issues during the third Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) and related meetings scheduled for August 18-30 in Ho Chi Minh City, said an official from the ministry. Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy Director of the Health Ministry’s International Cooperation Department, said at a press conference in Hanoi on August 11 that the meetings will approve relevant strategies and policies in the APEC region as well as action plans of special working groups. Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien will preside over the seventh High-Level Meeting on Health and Economy slated for August 23-28, he said, adding that the event is expected to help promote Vietnam’s initiative in inclusive economic, financial and social development through the building of a sustainable financial system in public health care and a roadmap that provides all people with health services. The meeting is projected to issue a joint declaration and recommendations which will be sent to the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November 2017 in the central city of Da Nang, Cuong said. It is expected to bring together 280 domestic and international delegates, including representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN Population Fund and the World Bank, he added. Within the framework of SOM3, Minister Tien is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price and …... [read more]

NDO/VNA - The Ministry of Health will chair seven meetings on health-related issues during the third Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) and other related meetings, scheduled for August 18-30 in Ho Chi Minh City, said an official from the ministry. Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy Director of the Health Ministry’s International Cooperation Department, at a press conference in Hanoi on August 11, stated that the meetings will approve the relevant strategies and policies in the APEC region, as well as the action plans of the special working groups. Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien will preside over the seventh High-Level Meeting on Health and Economy scheduled for August 23-28, he said, adding that the event is expected to help promote Vietnam’s initiatives in inclusive economic, financial and social development through the building of a sustainable financial system in public health care and a strategy that provides everybody with health services. The meeting is projected to issue a joint declaration and recommendations which will be sent to the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, to be held in November 2017, in the central city of Da Nang, Cuong said. It is expected to bring together 280 domestic and international delegates, including representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN Population Fund and the World Bank, he added. Within the framework of SOM3, Minister Tien is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with the US Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price and Japanese Senator…... [read more]

NDO/VNA - The Ministry of Health will chair seven meetings on health-related issues during the third Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) and other related meetings, scheduled for August 18-30 in Ho Chi Minh City, said an official from the ministry. Nguyen Manh Cuong, Deputy Director of the Health Ministry’s International Cooperation Department, at a press conference in Hanoi on August 11, stated that the meetings will approve the relevant strategies and policies in the APEC region, as well as the action plans of the special working groups. Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien will preside over the seventh High-Level Meeting on Health and Economy scheduled for August 23-28, he said, adding that the event is expected to help promote Vietnam’s initiatives in inclusive economic, financial and social development through the building of a sustainable financial system in public health care and a strategy that provides everybody with health services. The meeting is projected to issue a joint declaration and recommendations which will be sent to the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, to be held in November 2017, in the central city of Da Nang, Cuong said. It is expected to bring together 280 domestic and international delegates, including representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN Population Fund and the World Bank, he added. Within the framework of SOM3, Minister Tien is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with the US Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price and Japanese Senator…... [read more]

BRUSSELS: Britain and France said on Monday (Aug 7) that some insecticide-tainted eggs may have entered the country, as millions of chickens faced being culled in the Netherlands in a growing European contamination scandal. German authorities have stepped up testing of residue on eggs since it emerged an insecticide dangerous for human consumption was used on chickens in the Netherlands and Belgium. (AFP/Guido Kirchner) Belgium meanwhile vowed full transparency about why it kept the scandal secret despite originally learning in June about the problem involving fipronil, a substance potentially dangerous to humans. Supermarkets in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium have pulled millions of eggs from the shelves since Belgium gave the European Commission the first notification on Jul 20, while retailers in Sweden and Switzerland have followed suit. The Commission said on Monday that under its EU rapid alert system it had been determined that eggs under suspicion of contamination had also been distributed to France and Britain via Germany. "It's now up to the Swedish, Swiss, French and to the UK to check because all these eggs are traceable and trackable," European Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen told reporters. Britain's Food Standards Agency said it was "urgently investigating the distribution of these eggs in the UK" from farms at the centre of the scare, while adding that "the number of eggs involved is very small and the risk to public health is…... [read more]

Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment under health ministry made the statement on Thursday during discussion on amendments to the guidance. According to the World Health Organisation, palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and treatment of pain and other problems. In 2006, with assistance from national and international experts, the health ministry issued guidance on palliative care for cancer and AIDS patients. Khuê said the guidance was a legal basis and reference point for healthcare workers to deliver proper care. “So far, hundreds of doctors and nurses have undergone palliative care training and thousands of patients have received improved care in the last stage of their life,” Khuê said. The updated document expands the subjects of the specialised medical and nursing care to all people with life-limiting illnesses. It also encourages the building of multi-component groups, which include medical staff, families, social workers and volunteers, to care for patients. Palliative care can take place at hospitals, at home and within the community. Eric Krakauer, an expert from the World Health Organisation, said the therapy helps reduce pain and should be incorporated into primary and comprehensive healthcare. According to Viet Nam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control under the Ministry of Health, by May this year, Viet Nam had more than 209,000 people living with HIV. In the first five months of this year,…... [read more]

THE HAGUE: Supermarkets in the Netherlands and Germany were on Thursday (Aug 3) removing millions of eggs from their shelves believed to have been contaminated by a toxic insecticide in a widening food scandal. Some 10 billion eggs were produced in the country last year by about 1,000 poultry farms, with many of them going across the border into Germany. (AFP/Patrick HUISMAN) Amid fears the Dutch poultry industry could be facing huge financial losses, German officials said late Thursday they believed three million tainted eggs had been made their way into the country and been sold. After shuttering 180 businesses earlier in the week, the Dutch food authority (NVWA) said following tests that 138 poultry farms - about a fifth of all such concerns in the country - would remain closed, with one batch of eggs posing "an acute danger to public health". Eggs from another 59 farms contained high enough levels of the insecticide, fipronil, that the food authority warned they should not be eaten by children. "Those businesses whose egg codes have been printed on the website will remain closed," the NVWA said, publishing a list of 138 codes printed on the sides of the eggs, which identify which farm they have come from. According to Dutch media, some 10 billion eggs were produced in the country last year by about 1,000 poultry farms, with many of them going across…... [read more]

NDO – Improper use of antibiotics in breeding will result in antibiotic resistance and residues in food that causes more potential risks for consumers’ health and livelihood. This was stated at a conference on antibiotic management in Hanoi on August 2. Hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in collaboration with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the workshop aims to implement Vietnam’s National Action Plan for management of antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance in livestock and aquaculture for the 2017-2020 periods. With funding from USAID, this plan was developed with technical assistance from FAO to orient agricultural activities and operations of agencies under the MARD, as well as supplement the Ministry of Health's National Action Plan for Drug Resistance during 2013-2020. The plan is expected to contribute to reducing the risk of drug resistance to the community in relation to the use of antibiotics in livestock and aquaculture in Vietnam. The National Action Plan has specific objectives of reviewing, and implementing regulations regarding policies related to antibiotic resistance and antibiotic use in livestock and aquaculture. Another objective of this plan is to raise awareness concerning the use of antibiotics and the risk of antibiotic resistance formation for technicians and professionals working in the field of agriculture and food, as well as farmers and consumers; applying good practices in medical examination and treatment, professional practice in animal feed production, and employing the best practices in…... [read more]




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