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Posts Tagged ‘Rampant’

Unsafe toys rampant in markets

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 7:50 am

Although Ho Chi Minh City Market Management Board September 15 started to inspect toy businesses, rampant objects for children’s fun without CR (Conformity of Regulation) safety stamps are sold in streets or markets,

Market inspectors are checking toys

Under the new technical regulation of the Ministry of Science and Technology taking effect on September 15, toys must be labeled with CR stamps to help minimize health and safety risks among kids during play.

The regulation includes methods for testing materials and other substances contained in toys as well as the management of import and production activities for toys.

In sidewalks, display of varieties of toys in streets such as Nguyen Van Cu- An Duong Vuong, Luong Nhu Hoc, Nguyen Trai, Hong Bang in district 5 and Nguyen Tri Phuong in district 10 has attracted kids. Vendors all said they didn’t care about the regulation because they can immediately hide toys when police arrive.

Legal toy shops, supermarkets, book stores and old-age markets like Kim Bien and Binh Tay sell cars, dolls and plastic objects, smuggled mainly from China without safety certificates. A wholesaler in Binh Tay market, considered as biggest distributor of toys in the city, said it is hard to sell products with CR stamp because they are usually expensive than imported varieties  without being labeled; moreover, a few designs of legal toys have been produced.

In addition, many parents also prefer buying Chinese toys because they are cheaper and more modern, with more moveable parts compared to locally made products.

Retailers in the city said no importers or enterprises have withdraw  products without safety stamps. They therefore didn’t know what objects have been given accreditation. Furthermore, retailers complained that no relevant agencies have given them detailed instructions, they just heard the regulation through public media.

Inspectors discovered many products without safety stamps in supermarkets, toy shops, and book stores in the city on September 15 as well as fake stamps. Head of the department of city’s market management Dang Van Duc said inspectors would fine businesses, confiscate or destroy illegal products.

Source: SGGP

Low quality ginseng rampant in Vietnamese market

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Only after its Chinese counterpart overtook Vietnamese ginseng in local markets, did people start realizing that low quality herbal medicines are rampant in Vietnam, causing confusion among customers.

Varieties of ginseng sold in the market (Photo: SGGP)

Shop assistants in traditional medicine shops on Hai Thuong Lan Ong, Trieu Quang Phuc, Luong Nhu Hoc Streets, all part of an area famous for Chinese traditional medicines in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, said they can supply as much ginseng demand requires.

At a store on Luong Nhu Hoc Street, ginsengs stuffed in huge nylon burlap sacks, along with other plant and bark products, do not indicate their place of origin on the packaging, which only advertises their cost.

Meanwhile, the owner withdrew varieties of ginseng from a drawer, claiming it had Korean origins, but they smelled moldy and looked like dried turnips.

According to some herbalists, most of ginseng sold by the kilogram usually comes from China and are extractions of the essence of young herbs. Traders only purchase residues to sell; some of them even add refuse to the residues to steep, in order to create a more weighty supply and then soak the ginseng steeped in garbage with chemicals so it lasts longer.

A recent survey conducted by Vietnamese Ministry of Health revealed that more than 50 percent of herbs sold in these streets are imported illegally, and have unclear origins. Furthermore, the quality of 90 percent of Chinese herbs has not been tested by responsible agencies.

Not only is Chinese ginseng’s quality is dubious, Korean varieties are of doubtful eminence as well. Employees of two Korean ginseng exclusive importers on Nguyen Thong Street in District 3 insisted their products have good quality, but did not have secondary labels of Vietnamese importers.

Dr. Tran Cong Luan, Director of Ho Chi Minh City’s Ginseng and Medical Materials, said high quality and false ginsengs jumble together in the higgledy-piggledy market.

For instance, Ngoc Linh ginseng, a precious herb of Vietnam, has been recently sold at over VND3 million per kilogram in the highlands province of Kon Tum and the central province of Quang Nam.  However, the cost of genuine herbs fetch over VND8 million a kilogram; tests proved cheap ginseng came from China and showed that they had been soaked with chemicals to keep longer.

Doctor Le Hung from the Traditional Medicine Institute in Ho Chi Minh City advised people to purchase ginseng verified with certificates issued by a center for medical materials, and not to spend money on shady products of dubious origin.

Source: SGGP

Illegal pharmaceutical trade continues to run rampant in HCMC

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 6:13 am

Following the discovery last month of fake drugs in 10 Viet-France Pharmaceuticals Company warehouses, SGGP reporters have unearthed more information on illegal drug-selling practices in Ho Chi Minh City.

A cache of fake drugs found in a small workshop in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

To Hien Thanh Street in the city’s District 10 is well known for its wholesale pharmaceutical markets. Some enterprises on the street refused to purchase medicines with unclear origins, but other dubious traders are known to sell nearly expired drugs at half the original price.

Demand for the drug Viagra, used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, has recently skyrocketed, as have prices for the medicine.

Four blister packs of the drug cost VND700,000 in the mainstream market, but fake varieties are sold rampantly to pharmacies by illegal drug traders for only around VND200,000. The phony drugs are then resold to unknowing customers.

In addition, unscrupulous pharmaceutical company representatives can earn profits from selling their company’s drug samples, which are normally offered to doctors for free.

Such companies are not permitted to sell their medicine samples, but some employees with access to the drugs have been found reselling them cheaply, without receipts or proof of origin, to local pharmacies.

Independent, illegal drug traders also work throughout the city. One trader named Tuan was found to have purchased a large quantity of the drug Sagacef 200, manufactured by Saga Laboratories of India and imported by Pharbaco Central Pharmaceutical JSC No.1.

The medicine has been banned in Vietnam, however, for failing to meet Vietnamese safety and quality standards, and the Ministry of Health ordered the importer to withdraw the medicine from the local market.

Some fake-drug traders also find ways to remake and sell expired and prohibited medicines to pharmacies and private clinics at high prices.

Local police last month discovered a large quantity of fake medicines and production equipment including stamping machines and a device to make drug capsules. The paraphernalia, stored in 10 warehouses on Ly Thuong Kiet Street in District 10, allegedly belonged to Huynh Van Quang, director of the Viet-France Pharmaceuticals Company JCC.

Quang reportedly purchased cheap, domestically made medicines and then placed the drugs in brand-name containers including Novartis, Roche, Gedeon Richter, Janssen Cilag and Solvay to resell at higher prices.

Last month, HCMC Market Managers also discovered 2,000 containers of expired drugs in a warehouse belonging to Dong Phuong (Oriental) Pharmaceutical Ltd. Company in District 1. The company was found illegally applying new expiry dates to the drugs.

According to the HCMC Market Management Board, over 10 major cases were unearthed in 2009 involving local pharmacies selling fake or expired drugs. In addition, many more were found selling drugs without clear origins or receipts.

Each Vietnamese citizen spends around US$16.40 on drugs annually, and could be putting their health at great risk when purchasing medicines of unknown origin and safety.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Pesticide use rampant amongst Vietnam farmers

In Vietnam Society on December 7, 2009 at 3:47 am

The overuse of fertilizers and chemicals by Vietnam’s farmers was discussed at a meeting attended by labor and agriculture officials on December 4 in Hanoi.

A farmer sprays toxic pesticides without face masks, gloves or boots

Organized by the Legal Department of the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labor and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the meeting heard that farmers in Vietnam tend to use far more chemicals on their crops than deemed safe.

Incurable diseases like cancer and even death result from the rampant use of chemicals and pesticides in rural regions, experts said.

It is estimated that the pesticide content in one hectare of land in the Hong River Delta area in the North exceeds allowable levels by 2.81 times, and by 3.71 times in the Mekong Delta.

A survey carried out by the Vietnam National University-Hanoi revealed around 15-29 million farmers in the country use pesticides consistently, and 70 percent of them report adverse health effects as a result.

Doctors say pesticide poisoning accounts for an alarmingly high death rate amongst farmers who don’t realize the dangers of the chemicals.

They often spray toxic pesticides without face masks, gloves or boots and sometimes use vast quantities to increase their crop output.

New policies must be promulgated and supervision of labor safety in the agricultural sector needs to be improved, said Dinh Hanh Thung from the Legal Department of the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labor.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Rampant Arsenal on the verge of last 16 spot

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 6:53 am

LONDON, Nov 4, 2009 (AFP) – Arsenal are on the verge of booking their place in the Champions League knockout stages after Cesc Fabregas scored twice to inspire a 4-1 win against AZ Alkmaar on Wednesday.

Arsene Wenger’s side sit top of Group H with 10 points from four matches and can guarantee a spot in the last 16 if they avoid defeat at home to Standard Liege on November 24.

Arsenal’s Russian midfielder Andrey Arshavin chases after the ball against AZ Alkmaar during the Champions League Group H football match at The Emirates Stadium in London on November 4, 2009. Arsenal won the game 4-1. AFP PHOTO

Gunners captain Fabregas opened the scoring at the Emirates Stadium when his shot trickled past Alkmaar goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

Samir Nasri, just back in action after a broken leg, added to the feelgood factor when the France midfielder notched his first goal since March.

Another Fabregas strike soon after half-time was followed by an eye-catching Arsenal move finished by Abou Diaby before Jeremain Lens got one back for the Dutch champions.

After being written off as also-rans in pre-season, the north Londoners, now unbeaten in 12 matches, look in the mood to end their four-year trophy drought.

Wenger was full of praise for his side and singled out Russia playmaker Andrey Arshavin.

“It was a brilliant performance. We dominated technically, tactically and were never under threat. We played with confidence and overall I’m very happy,” he said.

“Arshavin was outstanding. He gave the ball every time at the fraction of the second you wanted to give it. That is top, top quality.

“I believe this season we are getting stronger from game to game. It is important to keep that attitude to progress and improve.”

Alkmaar boss Ronald Koeman added: “They have Eduardo and (Tomas) Rosicky on the bench. That says enough.

“The players up front are fast, technical and very strong. It is normal that they play better and have more chances than us.”

The Gunners were on top from the opening minutes. Robin van Persie almost added to his tally of seven goals in his last seven games when he took Arshavin’s pass on the right edge of the Alkmaar penalty area and shot just past the far post.

Romero needlessly gave away an indirect free-kick moments later by picking up the ball when a stray pass from Maarten Martens looped back into his area.

But from the set-piece, just six yards from goal, van Persie could only strike his low shot into the wall of Alkmaar defenders on the line.

Romero made a far more costly mistake in the 25th minute to hand Arsenal the opening goal.

Fabregas hit a low shot from the edge of the Alkmaar area but the Spain midfielder’s effort was weakly struck and should have been easy for Romero.

Instead, the Argentine could only push it into the net despite getting a full hand to the ball. Even Fabregas seemed stunned by the ease of the goal and could barely bring himself to celebrate.

Koeman’s side were struggling to make Arsenal’s defence break sweat and Nasri delivered the knockout blow in the 43rd minute.

He took Arshavin’s pass in his stride, completely fooled Hector Moreno with a neat check back inside and stroked his shot past Romero.

Alkmaar had stolen a 1-1 draw against the Gunners two weeks ago and Wenger’s men were clearly in the mood for revenge.

They started the second half at a blistering pace and Fabregas capped a sweeping move to claim his second goal in the 52nd minute.

Arshavin was the provider with an astute pass and Fabregas supplied a sublime first-time finish to put the result beyond doubt.

Wenger knew the game was over and he took off Fabregas and van Persie, to standing ovations from the Emirates faithful, to save them for Saturday’s trip to Wolverhampton.

But Arsenal kept the best until last. An imperious 72nd minute move saw Eduardo back-heel to Arshavin, who played a perfectly weighted ball to Diaby and the French midfielder easily side-footed past Romero.

Lens reduced the deficit when he beat Manuel Almunia at his near post in the 82nd minute but the damage had already been done.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Rampant redwood logging destroys national heritage site

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2008 at 1:27 pm

DAC NONG — Rampant illegal logging of redwood (Afzelia xylocarpa) in the Central Highlands province of Dac Nong is threatening to destroy a national historical and cultural heritage site.

Forest rangers say that meager resources and resourceful loggers have heavily damaged the 1,300-ha Dray Sap special use forest in Krong No District.

The forest and the waterfalls of Gia Long and Dray Sap in Dac So Commune have been recognised as a national historical and cultural heritage site, that the Dac Nong Trade and Tourism Company manages to exploit its tourism potential.

Le Men, deputy director of the Gia Long-Dray Sap Waterfalls area, says loggers enter the forest from all sides at day and night to log redwood.

Redwood is a highly sought after wood for its beauty and sturdiness against the elements, and widely used in interior decorations including wooden-tiled floors, Men says.

“The company has only three people to protect the forest, so most logging cases are discovered only after illegal loggers have carried the wood out of the forest.”

The company dug two trenches along the 7-km asphalted road in the middle of the forest to prevent poachers’ vehicles from transporting wood out of the forest.

But the illegal loggers are able to open new roads, filling sections of the trenches or using tree-trunks spanning the trenches to get the wood out, Men explains.

The company has also hired four bodyguards from the Dak Lak-based A Chau Security Company to cope with the loggers, but the move has not paid off. The loggers have attacked forest rangers and cut redwood trees even in areas near the management board offices of the tourism company.

The company has assigned 30 families in Dac So Commune to protect the 1,300ha of forest land at VND100,000 per ha per year.

But when the deforestation is discovered, they claim not to know who did it, according to inspectors from the Krong No District Forest Protection Office.

Office chief Tran Van Giang says redwood illegal logging in the province has been a hot issue for nearly one month.

“Loose management by the Dac Nong Trade and Tourism Company is one of main factors of leading to the destruction,” Giang says.

Besides, there are 50 families living in the forest who have planted 100ha of coffee and cashew, but local authorities have not dealt with them yet, he notes.

These families have broken a pledge given earlier that they would not destroy and encroach on forest land.

The office has recently transferred two cases of illegal encroachment on 4ha of the forest land to investigation agencies, Giang says.

He warns that if the wanton destruction of the Dray Sap special use forest continues, the national historical and cultural heritage site will disappear very soon —