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Post Info TOPIC: Chemically-treated crops threaten consumer safety

Chemically-treated crops threaten consumer safety

Chemically-treated crops threaten consumer safety

Vientiane Times, 7 Nov 2009

Concern has been raised that farmers are focusing on profits rather
than the quality of their produce.

With a huge increase in demand some vegetable producers have been
using large amounts of chemicals to increase productivity, at the
expense of consumer safety.

One vegetable producer Mr Phaylad Simmaly, who lives in Thatkhao
village, Sisattanak district, Vientiane, said he only uses tiny
amounts of insecticides on his vegetables to prevent damage by
insects, but avoids using other chemicals.

“If you use too many chemicals and insecticides it's bad for people's
health and will shorten the life of the crop,” he said.

Mr Phaylad grows vegetables on 3,200 square metres of land and earns
about 15 million kip a year from the sale of his produce.

Some other vegetable growers spray such large amounts of insecticide
on their crops that they are in the ground for only one week before
they are harvested for sale, he said.

Farmers should wait longer before harvesting their vegetables in order
for their crops to be considered safe.

Mr Phaylad said the safety of produce should be paramount, because
food is a necessity for everyone.

He has always ensured his vegetables are safe because they are eaten
by his family members.

With an expected increase in demand for vegetables during the SEA
Games, Mr Phaylad has urged growers who normally use dangerous
chemicals to use organic fertiliser instead.

This would ensure the health of all participants and spectators at the
games, he said.

When Ms Souphansa Sayyasith buys vegetables from the market, she has
to wash them three times and soak them in salt water to remove the
chemicals before cooking.

She said during the SEA Games farmers should be careful with the
amounts of chemicals they use to make sure visitors to Laos stay

Officials have urged people to eat only organic crops for the benefit
of their health and to discourage farmers from using large amounts of

Many farmers in the area have applied to be members of organic groups
that are producing food that is safe for consumption.

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