KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — There will be no more import of red chillies from Vietnam permitted until the end of this year, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Sim Tze Tzin.
He said this follows the testing of samples of red chillies from Vietnam found the content of maximum residue limit (MRL) exceeded the permitted level.
“The ministry has also sent a notification to the Vietnamese authorities to take the appropriate action and report the preventive measures that were taken which would allow the ban of import permit to be lifted.
“The ministry also set the conditions for sanitation and phytosanitation for the import of fresh chillies from Vietnam such as requiring the certification for good agriculture practices and encouraging the planting and production of local chillies which were free of pesticide and of good quality to meet domestic demand,” he said at the Oral Question Session at the Senate here today.
Sim was replying to a question from Senator Datuk Seri Khairudin Samad who wanted to know the government’s efforts to tackle the issue of imported contaminated chillies sold in local markets which did not comply with the Food Act 1983 and the Food Regulations 1985 due to pesticide residue last year.
He said the Ministry through the Malaysian Inspection and Quarantine Service Department (Maqis) was constantly monitoring the import of agricultural products especially from Vietnam.
Meanwhile, replying to a supplementary question from Senator Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah who asked about the authenticity of a video clip which had gone viral showing pesticides added to durians to make them look fresh, Sim said it was an old video and the incident did not take place in Malaysia. — Bernama