SkyscraperCity banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
121,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
輸港內地菜含農藥
不符歐盟標準 監控出現紕漏

18/04/2006


「綠色和平」食物安全副項目主任周婉蘋要求政府及超市加強監管蔬菜的殘餘農藥水平。


市民購買蔬菜難從外表分辨農藥的含量是否超標。


內地入口本港的新鮮食品因缺乏監管,近期不斷驗出對人體健康有不良影響。環保組織「綠色和平」最近抽驗超級市場主要由內地入口的蔬菜,發現部分樣本的農藥超標,或殘餘非法農藥。負責內地入口蔬菜抽驗的食物環境生署雖強調,內地蔬菜須來自註冊農場,亦會在文錦渡口岸抽驗,但今次發現有問題蔬菜流入,顯示本港監察蔬菜品質的機制存在漏洞,「綠色和平」已要求當局加強監控入口蔬菜的農藥水平。

「綠色和平」去年十一月至今年三月期間,在元朗、沙田及天水圍的惠康及百佳超級市場,抽驗五十五個蔬菜樣本,發現七成半蔬菜含有殘餘農藥,當中近三成的含量超標,其中五個樣本更驗出含有非法農藥,包括兩個玉豆樣本含有「滴滴涕」和「甲胺磷」,番茄樣本則含有禁用農藥「林丹」。

食環署採世標準
百佳超級市場發言人指出,百佳與「綠色和平」採用兩種不同的檢測標準,百佳及食環署均採用獲國際承認由世界生組織制訂的標準(Codex),但「綠色和平」則採用歐盟標準,故產生截然不同的結果。百佳將「綠色和平」於其店舖抽取的二十八個蔬菜樣本,以世標準測試比較,發現只有六個樣本含非常低水平的殘餘農藥,估計與水源污染有關,因內地部分農場用作灌溉的河水,亦會流經使用農藥的農場,部分蔬菜可能因而帶有殘餘農藥。

至於其中一個小白菜樣本的農藥超標,百佳發言人表示,經調查之後,發現一名農場工人,在使用農藥後比原定日期提早兩天收割,導致農藥含量輕微超標,已即時採取行動修正。發言人又強調一直對中式葉菜採取綜合食品安全系統監察,包括使用「農場檢定」系統,若發現任何殘留農藥的測試結果未達標準,均會即時禁止出售。

服食過量影響大腦
惠康超級市場發言人則表示,已查出有問題蔬菜來自本地農場,已即時停止供應,並會致函所有蔬菜供應商,須嚴格遵守本港蔬菜安全標準。至於負責抽驗入口食品的食環署發言人表示會調查超市發現有問題蔬菜,並強調會在文錦渡口岸加強檢查內地入口蔬菜的文件及抽取樣本化驗。

中文大學生物化學系副授何永成指出,人體吸收過量農藥,不但會引致腸胃不適,長期食用更影響大腦的運作。
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
121,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Food inspectors failing as gatekeepers: activists
Chester Yung
Hong Kong Standard
Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The fact that fruit and vegetables containing high levels of chemicals are entering Hong Kong shows that the government's food-inspection system has failed to keep pace with growing abuse of pesticides in mainland agriculture, a green group warns.

"The recent saga about imported vegetables with excessive pesticides is only the tip of the iceberg," said Greenpeace's Angus Lam Chi-kwong, who has studied food safety in the mainland for more than 10 years.

"The bigger problems are behind the scenes."

The source of the problem lies "upstream," where ignorance, poor supervision of farming practices and conflicting roles within agricultural extension offices is encouraging the use of pesticides.

Over the past two decades, mainland agriculture has begun moving away from traditional systems based on four millennia of experience to more modern methods.

This has been accompanied by a massive increase in the use of pesticides.

According to official figures, in 1998 there were 1,570 pesticides factories in the mainland, and by 2003 annual production had reached 9.22 million tonnes.

But the consequences of pesticide use on drinking water and irrigation has been a "health crisis for rural residents," according to an official report, Pesticides Development in China: A Comprehensive Report, published by the China Environmental Science Press last year.

Lam said the increasingly abusive use of pesticides can be traced back to the funding of the Agricultural Extension Agency, a farm advisory body under the Ministry of Agriculture that depends on the sale of agricultural inputs such as pesticides for its income.

One role of the extension agency is to promote new seed varieties and inform farmers which of these are best suited to local conditions.

But a shortage of funds at the township and county level has been a constraint on agricultural extension operations.

An official survey in 1996 showed that funds for the Agricultural Extension Agency were 5,200 yuan (HK$5,051) per capita at county level and 1,700 yuan at the township level, but these were estimated to be only about 45 percent and 18 percent, respectively, of the funds actually required, according to Dai Cong and Xue Guixia, authors of a paper entitled Rural China Entering the 21st Century: Agricultural Technology Extension.

"To boost their unit's income, agency officers tend to promote extensive use of pesticides," Lam said, adding that there is no proper guideline on how to use the pesticides.

This point is echoed by Australian National University researcher Graeme Smith who, in a research paper entitled The Political Economy of Agricultural Technology Extension in Rural Anhui, reveals how extension agents promote pesticide use rather than new seed varieties.

Smith's study found that in three villages of Huoshan County, Anhui province, many agricultural extension workers admitted that many of the pesticides routinely used in mainland fields were becoming less and less effective.

With no proper guidance, this leads to increasingly intensive use of pesticides, the paper suggested.

Lam says this fact brings the problem squarely back into Hong Kong's court. When growing pesticide abuse cannot be controlled at the source, the gatekeeper role provided by Hong Kong food safety inspectors becomes even more vital.

But the Hong Kong government is dragging its feet in tackling the problem, Lam added.

In April, Greenpeace found that Hong Kong's two main supermarket chains - ParknShop and Wellcome - were selling vegetables containing excessive levels of pesticides. The group argued that the government's detection procedures at the border are the weakest link in the supply chain when it comes to ensuring a safe food supply.

Assistant Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene Thomas Chung Wai-hung defended the government's procedures in a radio interview last Tuesday, saying the government had tested 39 samples after the discovery.

But he admitted the data was "patchy" so the government did not release its results to "minimize confusion."

"The test results were subsequently all found to be satisfactory," a department spokesman said the following day.

But Lam said the tests adopted by the government cannot solve the problem and have become "a license to allow more contaminated vegetables into the territory."

He said: "Compared with the European Union and Japan, which have tightened up the inspection of imported food from China in the last two years, the local government is dragging its feet by not revising its standards."

A department spokesman said testing had been conducted on 20,000 samples of vegetables at the import, wholesale and retail levels last year and 480 fruit samples in the past three years.

"We consider the existing food surveillance program for vegetables and fruits effective and adequate for monitoring purposes," the spokesman said. Lam said that part of the problem is the decline of local agriculture, which is far easier to monitor. The greater reliance on imported food means stricter inspections are vital.

According to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the number of market gardeners dropped from 17,900 in 1971 to 3,225 last year.

"Hong Kong is killing its local agricultural industry and opening up the market, yet the level of safety inspection lags far behind the level of market openness," Lam said.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
121,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Vegetable farms set to be registered - Scheme enables authorities to trace contaminated produce
30 June 2006
South China Morning Post

All of the nearly 3,000 Hong Kong vegetable farms are expected to join a voluntary registration scheme in the next two months, according to an agriculture official.

The scheme's introduction follows the discovery in April that small amounts of locally produced vegetables went to market without being tested for contaminants.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department assistant director (agricultural) Liu Kwei-kin yesterday unveiled the registration scheme and said it should be fully operational by September.

"We will go over all of the local vegetable farms in the New Territories and collect information such as location, pesticides used and where the farmers sell their products. Some farms may be missed but we will visit them later," he said.

The scheme would allow authorities to monitor the use of pesticides and provide a database to trace the origin of contaminated vegetables from local farms. Dr Liu said the registration scheme aimed to help farmers rather than spy on them.

"We want to encourage local farms to adopt good horticultural practice and environmentally friendly production. Pest management and the use of pesticides are two major works we are particularly concerned about," he said.

Fung Ming-hong, proprietor of an organic farm in Fung Chut Heung, Yueng Long, believed most local vegetables were safe.

"Local farmers usually do not overuse pesticides, and there are checks from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Vegetable Marketing Organisation. The contaminated vegetables are more likely to come from the mainland," Mr Fung said.

"Supermarkets in Hong Kong order from mainland farms every day. Usually the vegetables do not come from one single farm. It would be impossible to find which farm vegetables came from."

Mr Fung was not optimistic about the registration system.

"It is voluntary. The farmers may not be interested as it may be too much trouble. But the main point is, it is such a small proportion of local vegetables compared with mainland imports," he said.

The Vegetable Marketing Organisation has admitted that only half the city's vegetables are distributed to retailers through the organisation, which conducts random checks on produce. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department also tests vegetables from the mainland at the border, but some local farms, especially small ones, sell direct, without going through any tests.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
121,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
New system to keep an eye on backyard farms
Joyce Kam
Hong Kong Standard
Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Agriculture and Fisheries officers will use a global positioning system to mark the locations of backyard farms in the latest move to ensure the safety of local vegetables.

The department began a two-month plan Tuesday aiming to register all local farms so that health authorities would be able to quickly trace the source of tainted vegetables.

The registration especially targets backyard farms, which are estimated to number more than 2,000.

"When the registration is completed, we'll be able to trace the source of all local vegetables available on the market and their quality can be guaranteed," senior agricultural officer Peter Ma Wai-chung said, adding that officers would approach all backyard farms, including those operated on a part-time basis.

The location of the farms and the types of vegetables grown will be recorded.

Ma said some backyard farmers grew and sold vegetables on their own without the help of the Vegetable Marketing Organization.

"Sometimes, these vegetables may be tainted but, without knowing where the farm is, it will be hard to trace the source," Ma said. "As such, we plan to establish a complete database and to conduct regular inspections."

Ma believed most backyard farmers would register, even though the process was voluntary. "We will provide free technical support upon registration so it will be beneficial to them. We hope to build up the prestige of local vegetables," Ma said.

He said there was no plan for compulsory registration as local vegetables accounted for only between 4 percent and 5 percent of the daily supply on the market.

So far, 260 large farms have registered.

Local farmer Lee Yue-shing, who has 40 years' experience, said he welcomed the plan.

"I hope they can teach us the latest farming skills to boost our harvests and reduce our costs," he said.

He also felt the department's support would be helpful as pollution was becoming more serious.

Registered farmers can attend talks on correct insecticide usage and get seeds of new species, while the department will regularly examine their soil fertility and water quality.

Those who need capital to build infrastructure can apply for a maximum HK$100,000 loan.

Legislator Wong Yung-kan, who represents the agriculture and fisheries sector, said local farmers had always been cooperative and that the registration of all farms would not pose a problem. "There is no need to worry about the quality of their vegetables," he added.

Wong said he was more concerned about vegetables imported from the mainland as only about 70 percent could be traced.

"Vegetables from unknown sources in the mainland may not be up to standard. These are the vegetables we should be aware of."
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
121,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LCQ10: Vegetables supplied to Hong Kong from Mainland
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li and a written reply by the Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, Dr York Chow, in the Legislative Council today (July 12):

Question:

Regarding vegetables supplied to Hong Kong from the Mainland, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it is aware that some traders have sourced vegetables directly from various markets in the Pearl River Delta Region for sale in Hong Kong, instead of from registered Mainland farms that supply vegetables to Hong Kong;

(b) as the vegetables concerned may be transported to Hong Kong in sealed trucks, and the traders may declare to the Customs and Excise Department that they are vegetables for "export", whether it has estimated the daily quantity of vegetables imported to Hong Kong by such means;

(c) whether random inspections have been conducted on these vegetables; if so, of the number of samples taken in each of the past three years;

(d) whether actions have been taken against traders selling vegetables so imported; if so, of the number of actions taken and prosecutions instituted in each of the past three years, as well as the penalties imposed in the conviction cases; and

(e) as the vegetables mentioned above may have escaped the inspection and testing by the Government, how it can ensure that such vegetables comply with food hygiene standards in Hong Kong?

Reply:

Madam President:

(a) During the checking of vehicles transporting vegetables from the Mainland at entry point, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has discovered vegetables originating from non-registered Mainland vegetable farms or collection stations.

(b, c, d) A great majority of vegetables imported on land route are transported with non-sealed trucks via Man Kam To control point. Sometimes there are vegetables transported with sealed trucks equipped with refrigerating device. However, all of them are processed vegetables, such as washed, sliced or cut.

All cargos entering into Hong Kong from the Mainland via land route must undergo importation procedures according to the law. There is no alternative treatment for cargos to be "re-exported". According to records, the Customs and Exercise Department (C&ED) has not discovered any traders transporting vegetables via land route with sealed trucks into Hong Kong who claimed that the vegetables were for "export" on the manifest. Therefore, we think that no vegetables are imported into Hong Kong with this method. Besides, we do not have any record of such vegetables which were declared to be for export but were sold in Hong Kong in fact.

Although no case of using sealed trucks to transport vegetables into Hong Kong but claimed to be for export has been discovered, according to information from the C&ED, there are traders using sealed trucks to transport vegetables without making correct declaration on the manifest. In 2005, the C&ED did not discover any cases of transporting vegetables with sealed trucks without correct declaration on the manifest. From January to June 2006, two such cases were discovered, involving 5040 kg of vegetables.

Staff of C&ED in Man Kam To Control Point has always maintained close cooperation with FEHD and conduct joint operation from time to time. When imported vegetables suspected to have problems are discovered, the vegetables will immediately be handed over to FEHD to follow up. Since January 2005, the authority has detained 24 trucks containing vegetables with problems and destroyed 10 tonnes of such vegetables.

(e) Currently, all incoming trucks transporting vegetables from the Mainland must be equipped with certifications issued by relevant Mainland import and export inspection and quarantine authority to certify that the vegetables contained in the truck are originated from registered farms or collection stations in the Mainland.

At Man Kam To import control point, the FEHD checks the certification issued by the relevant import and export inspection and quarantine authority in the Mainland. Upon checking, if the vegetables are discovered to be originated from non-registered vegetable farms or collection stations, the vegetables will be detained by FEHD until their pesticide residue test results are satisfactory. Besides, we also cooperate with the Mainland to fight against traders importing vegetables from non-registered farms. Whenever FEHD discover any trucks transporting such kind of vegetables, FEHD will record the data of these trucks and transfer such information for the Mainland authorities to follow up.

The FEHD will continue to take samples of vegetables of pesticide residue testing at import, wholesale and retail levels, in order to ensure that the vegetables sold in the market are safe and suitable for human consumption.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
121,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Test results on preservatives in preserved fruits and vegetables released
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Government Press Release

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) today (January 19) announced the test results of a targeted food surveillance project recently conducted to assess the use of preservatives in preserved fruits and vegetables. Among the 450 samples collected, six samples were found unsatisfactory. The overall satisfactory rate was 98.7%.

"The CFS collected 450 samples of preserved vegetables (such as cucumber, radish, leaf mustard, rakkyo, ginger and chilies) and preserved fruits (such as dried mango, dried pineapple, raisin, apricot, plum, dried apple ring, sour peach and olive) at different retail outlets (including supermarkets, groceries, snack shops, market stalls and restaurants) from October to December last year for preservative testing of sulphur dioxide, benzoic acid, sorbic acid and parabens," a spokesman for the CFS said.

Among the six unsatisfactory samples, one sample of sour peach and one sample of mango strip were found to contain benzoic acid at levels of 1,530 parts per million (ppm) and 1,700ppm respectively, exceeding the legal limit of 1,000ppm. One sample of raisins was found to contain sulphur dioxide at a level of 2,010ppm, exceeding the legal limit of 1,000ppm.

The remaining three unsatisfactory samples included one sample of dried apple rings, which were found to contain sulphur dioxide at a level of 1,570ppm, exceeding the legal limit of 1,000ppm. This test result was announced in the food safety report for October 2010. In addition, one sample of a pickled sweet ginger and one sample of raisins were also found to contain sulphur dioxide at levels of 197ppm (exceeding the legal limit of 100ppm) and 3,940ppm (exceeding the legal limit of 1,000ppm). These two results were announced in the food safety report for November 2010.

The spokesman said that the use of preservatives in food must comply with the Preservatives in Food Regulation. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment upon conviction.

"Sulphur dioxide, benzoic acid and sorbic acid are commonly used preservatives in food processing and are of low toxicity. The levels detected in the six unsatisfactory samples mentioned should not pose adverse health effect upon normal consumption," he said.

"The CFS has taken follow-up action against the unsatisfactory samples, including source tracing, requesting the vendors concerned to stop selling and to dispose of those food items, taking further samples and issuing warning letters. If there is sufficient evidence, prosecution will be taken," he added

The spokesman reminded the food trade to follow good manufacturing practice, comply with legal requirements when using preservatives and source food and ingredients from reliable sources. Members of the public are advised to buy food from reliable suppliers and maintain a balanced diet to reduce food risk.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
121,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Assurance on Tianjin produce
The Standard Excerpt
Monday, August 17, 2015

Food authorities in Hong Kong are contacting mainland authorities to see if food is imported from Tianjin amid news that deadly cyanide was stored at the warehouse devastated by giant explosions last week.

But food importers say Hongkongers need not worry as they are keeping a close eye on the situation.

The Centre for Food Safety said last night that it is contacting mainland authorities and imports will cease if harmful products are found.

Agriculture and fisheries-sector lawmaker Steven Ho Chun-yin said he is not worried about problematic food imports as Hong Kong has little incentive to import from Tianjin when there are cheaper alternatives.

But he is concerned about the transparency of both governments in informing the public and said Hong Kong should be proactive in liaising with mainland authorities.

Seven vegetable markets supply about 447 hectares of fresh vegetables - winter melons, carrots, broccoli and pak choi - to Hong Kong, according to the mainland General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. The chairman of the Hong Kong Imported Vegetable Wholesale Merchants' Association, Yuen Cheung, said imports from Tianjin take up just 6 to 7 percent of total vegetable imports.

"A decade ago we would import pak choi, leeks and green carrots from Tianjin," he said. "But the amount has been gradually decreasing as we now source from elsewhere like Shandong, Kunming and Yinchuan.

"I believe the imports will decrease further after the explosion."

Apart from vegetables, Hong Kong also imports pears and peaches from Tianjin.

Kowloon Fruit and Vegetable Merchants Association vice chairman Cheung Chi-keung said: "It's hard to tell if the pears are affected as we import them continually for nine to ten months a year, and the Tianjin pear is just one species among the many from Hebei."

Cheung said he believes the pears are grown far from the blast site as they are typically grown in the mountain areas.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top