Monday, January 3, 2011

Check greens regularly, says Tee Yong

PUTRAJAYA: The Government is stepping up surveillance on vegetables and fruits in the market to ensure they do not exceed permissible levels of chemical residue.

Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Chua Tee Yong said the ministry would begin by encouraging farmers to take part in its 3P policy to “trace and track” the greens in the market.

He said 3P stands for Pengedaran (distribution), Pembungkusan (packaging) and Pelabelan (labelling), and such a system, when in place, would enable the ministry to withdraw any polluted products from the market immediately.

Those found guilty of providing or selling greens which exceed permissible levels would face a maximum fine of RM30,000 or be jailed for up to five years, Chua told a press conference here yesterday.

The majority of greens in the market are from conventional farms, and the rest are either categorised as greens from farms with good farming practices and comes with the department’s SALM (sistem amalan ladang baik Malaysia) certification or organic greens from farms with the SOM (sistem organik Malaysia) certification.

Chua had on Dec 15 said it was compulsory for organic vegetables to carry the ministry’s SOM logo effective tomorrow.

Chua also announced the results of checks on SALM and SOM certified vegetables which he had bought from a supermarket in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur on Dec 15 for testing.

The CS2 residue from the SALM certified salad is 0.61mg/kg against its maximum residue limit (MRL) of 10mg/kg.

The CS2 residue from SOM certified sawi was 0.02mg/kg against its MRL of 0.5mg/kg.

In Labis, Johor, Chua said the government has always been sensitive towards the needs of residents.

He said this before handing over RM42,000 to over 84 families in Ladang Voules whose houses were damaged in a recent storm.

“I have visited this area several times and have also handed out monetary aid on previous occasions.

“This was before we knew of the coming by-election and we are not handing out aid for political backing but are just trying to help,” said Chua, who is also Labis MP.

The victims included 11 families from Kg Contoh, seven from Pekan Tenang, three from Sawah Padi, one from Kg Merah and 69 families from Ladang Voules.

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