The ministry asked local exporters to inspect and carefully assess residues of pesticide in rice shipped to the United States to avoid future problems, reported Vietnam’s state-run news agency VNA on Wednesday.
According to the ministry, while inspecting Vietnam’s rice exports, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found Vietnamese rice had eight active chemical elements that exceeded allowable limits.
All eight elements were pesticides permitted for use in Vietnam. The ministry has sent a delegation to the U.S. to solve problems.
The Vietnam Food Association quoted the FDA statistics as saying that in the first four months of this year, 95 containers of Vietnamese rice, or 1,700 tons, were returned from the U.S. market, including jasmine fragrant rice, jasmine broken rice, brown rice and high-quality white rice.
From 2012 to August 2016, some 412 containers, or 10,000 tons of exported Vietnamese rice, were rejected by the U.S. for hygiene or safety reasons.
According to Vietnam Customs, in the first eight months of this year, Vietnam exported 3.37 million tons of rice, earning 1.51 billion U.S. dollars.
Also during this period, rice exports fell by 16.6 percent in volume and 13 percent in value year-on-year.
In the first eight months this year, main export markets for Vietnamese rice included China (with 1.18 million tons), Ghana (with 343,000 tons), Indonesia (with 359,000 tons), among others.
The U.S. accounted for a small volume of Vietnam’s national volume of exported rice, with 22,084 tons worth 12.2 million U.S. dollars in the first eight months. Rice exports to the market had a strong drop against a volume of 33,000 tons and a value of 18.7 million U.S. dollars in the same period last year, said Vietnam Customs.
Vietnam is one of the most important rice producers and exporters in the world. Rice plays the most important role among agricultural commodities in Vietnam in terms of food security, rural wages and employment, as well as export revenues.
Vietnamese rice has been present in 135 countries and regions worldwide.