US Health and Human Services Secretary in Ben Tre, Vietnam, for reality check of food safety

On April 18, 2008, Mr Michael O. Leavitt, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, paid a visit to Ben Tre on his working tour of Vietnam from April 15 to 18 on health and food safety issues.

In Ben Tre, Mr Leavitt and his entourage had a reality check for food safety at Ben Tre's Forest and Aquatic Import and Export Corporation (FAQUIMEX), one of Vietnam's largest aquatic exporters into America, and a disease-free paultry farm in An Khanh Commune, Chau Thanh District.


Working with the Faquimex in the morning of April 18, Mr Leavitt heard Mr Ly Xuan Duc, Fasquimex Vice Director, present the company's close process of operation, starticng with the aquaculture and harvesting to processing for export. In the whole process, food safety is set as a top priority.

After touring the processing lines in the factory, Mr Leavitt was taken to visit the sources of materials and meet and talk to local farmers in Ba Tri, Binh Dai and Thanh Phu Districts to get to know of their real life and work conditions.

Later in the day, Mr Leavitt came to the clean paultry farm owned by Mr Nguyen Van Chien in An Khanh Commune, Chau Thanh District for talks with officials from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and local farmers on how to keep healthy paultry in this age of avian flu, how to discover the disease and measures to fight it.

In conclusion of his visit, Mr Leavitt said this was a very help trip, and that he now felt assured of food imports from Vietnam. He also expressed his satisfaction of Vietnam's efforts to fight avian flu and Ben Tre's food safety measures. He said that he would propose to the US Government to continue programs to aid Vietnam in the fight against avian flu.

Translated by An Chau.

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