Vietnam contending with more cases of gel-injected shrimp
Officials in Vietnam have been collaborating to crack down on the increasing number of shrimp that have been injected with gel, according to a report from Viet Nam News.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam has been working closely with police to combat the illegal injections, a process that increases the weight of shrimp, generating higher prices.
Figures from Vietnam's Agriculture Department revealed that of the 10,300-plus business inspections carried out by the agency in the past year, approximately 1,107 instances involved shrimp injections. The injecting businesses were fined up to VND 2.4 billion (USD 105,600, EUR 89,542) in total, the newspaper reported.
A recent case saw a team from the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department identifying an illegal operation carried out by Dong Hai District’s Long Dien Commune on 7 September, wherein workers were hired to inject carboxymethyl cellulose powder (CMC) into more than 138 pounds of shrimp, said Pham Tien Dung, a chief inspector at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. When combined with water, the initially powdery CMC transforms into a liquid, adding heft to the product, explained Viet Nam News. Authorities confiscated more than 19 pounds of CMC and injection needles during the inspection.
Businesses usually conduct shrimp injections at differing times, deploying workers in varying areas to avoid drawing attention to themselves, according to inspectors. It has been recommended that authorized agencies employ higher fines and more intensive prosecution measures to help ward off the problem.