It former delegate of the lawmaking National Assembly,

It is quite dangerous to consume foods in Vietnam nowadays. Today, it is easily seen that plant protection medicals used by most farmers to keep products fresh, promote growth remain with large amount. They even use some chemicals which are cattle-feed to increase cattle’s weight or make lean meat. Furthermore, using out-of-date food or spoiled food to make food and manufacturing food in dirty conditions are also contributing factors to not meet food safety standard. These facts show that most manufacturers producing food do not meet food safety standards. This situation is so alarming that Tran Ngoc Vinh, a former delegate of the lawmaking National Assembly, once said “the path from the stomach to the graveyard has never been as short and easy as it is today.” This research is aimed at raising awareness about dirty food in Vietnam, including causes, effects and solutions.2. Discussion of findings2.1 Possible causes of dirty foodSerious dirty food situation mainly results from two main causes, namely food chain producers and the government. Regarding producers, they want to make high profits from their products, so they usually use some kinds of toxic to make products fresher, shorten a long period of time to raise plants and cattle or even increase more cattle’s weight. According to Tuoi Tre News (November 2017), 11,000 tons of plant protection medicals are used in Vietnam every year. A scientific conference on food safety held in Hanoi in December 2009 also indicated that up to 56 percent of food samples tested were infected with chemicals, growth stimulants and processing substances – all of which are potentially damaging to those who eat them. This situation causes hygiene and food safety to reach alarm levels. Moreover, to alleviate production cost, they even use expired products that have been immersed into chemicals to make food. Besides, when people produce food in dirty condition, there is a strong correlation with rapid multiple of harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites causing food poisoning, which provoke many serious diseases which can lead to death. As Nguyen Thien Nhan said, Deputy Prime Minister of Education and Training The Socialist Republic of Vietnam, “Consuming unsafe food is that we are poisoned”. Regarding to the government, “Vietnamese government fails to get a grip on food safety” (Vietnamnews, August 25, 2016). According to Nguyen Lan Dung, chairman of the Vietnam Biotechnology Association, ” Vietnam imports 4,100 types of pesticides and 1,643 different chemical ingredients, 90 percent of which come from China” and “it is impossible to control how our farmers use them”. Furthermore, many manufacturers are producing foods in the condition that does not meet standard quality every day and the government cannot control all these wisely manufacturers who break the law.  It can be said that the government’s ineffective response to tighten food safety control.2.2. Effects of dirty foodWhen the market is flooded with contaminated food, it will create many bad effects. If consumers purchase unsafe food, it will induce health problems, psychological fear and economic implications.The direct and most impacts of using dirty food is that utilizers will contract serious diseases, particularly cancers. The “Say No to Dirty Food” program launched by Vietnam Television shows pictures of poor quality food but not many people seem to take note. Consequently, in 2015, 140 cases of serious food poisoning were recorded in Vietnam, affecting 4,273 people, of which 20 died. As in March there were 17 cases of serious food poisoning in 2016, affecting 1,011 and killing two. “Together with food poisoning, unsafe food can also cause a slow death.” and “contaminated food will directly impact on the country’s future”, said Professor Ngo Thi Ngoc Anh, Director of the Research Center for Gender, Family and Community Development. As reported by Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital in 2014, every year Vietnam has some 110,000 new cancer patients and more than 73 per cent die. According to figures from the Ministry of Health, every year about 150,000 new cancer cases are identified and 75,000 people die. Moreover, they could contract with other diseases related to foodborne diseases, which are a widespread public health issue and are expensive to treat. The report from Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital in 2014 also showed that Vietnam has among the highest death rates from cancer in the world.  Moreover, the first ever report of global burden of food-borne diseases recently released by the WHO showed that Vietnam rank the second place in the world in terms of food-borne diseases. When eating contaminated food, consumers cannot perceive the consequences immediately because of the fact that in the long term, consumers’ digestive system and other parts of body are spoiled and the death is slowly coming. Obviously, consumers’ health is significantly influenced by eating dirty food.In addition, trading dirty food can exert a drastic effect on consumers’ psychology. When it is flooded with contaminated food in the market now, purchasers are more frightened about the food they buy and fear the health consequences. Hence, unsafe food has become an issue of major public concern. When more and more people have fear of using dirty food, although not every kind of food is unsafe, they have a tendency to avoid or reduce purchasing domestic products and instead of that they will choose foreign products. Therefore, it has dramatic impacts on domestic economy when these domestic products are not widely consumed. An article posted in BMC Infectious diseases showed, “Vietnam is a member of several free-trade agreements, in particular the Trans-Pacific Partnership, so the likelihood of increasing imports of affordable and quality foods from other countries is real. This presents challenges to domestic food production in Vietnam, especially to the smallholders. For example, Australian beef  is cheaper than Vietnamese  beef, US chicken is cheaper than Vietnamese chicken and European countries have started negotiating the export of pork to Vietnam”. “Hence, the lack of food safety in the country’s food chain could be a risk to food security and the agricultural sector if it motivates people to switch to imported food that is both cheaper and safer at the expense of domestic production”.2.3. What are the solution for this alarming situation?So what are some of the solutions to the food safety problem in Vietnam? If this situation derives from food chain producers and the government, it should be dealt with by them. Regarding food chain producers, they must comply with food safety laws and must be “are primarily responsible for assuring the safety of our food supply” (Food Insight, May 23 2014). Specifically, they must make sure that foods they make are safe to eat, especially they must not add up any harmful chemicals to food and use spoiled food to produce food. Factories and individuals as well should ensure that producing environment is always clean and tidy. If the condition for making food is dirty, there will be ideal bacteria birth-places. To solve this problem, the government must set strict food safety standards, conduct regular inspections, ensure that standards are completely met, and maintain strong enforcement programs to deal with those who do not comply with standards. It can be said that if there is a better cooperation between the government and local authorities conducting inspections on local manufactures regularly, withdrawing unsafe food can significantly make progress. Furthermore, the government also need to prevent factories or retails from trading harmful chemicals usually used for making food.