China returns 30 durian shipments for cadmium contamination

China has returned 30 shipments of durian citing cadmium contamination since Vietnam began official exports of the fruit in September 2022, according to the plant protection department.
It represented 0.01% of the durian exported during the period, Nguyen Quang Hieu, head of the department’s international cooperation and communication division, said at a press conference Monday.

This has not affected durian exports yet, but serves as a serious warning to producers, he said.

The department has yet to identify the source of the cadmium, which could be the soil, water or emissions from nearby factories, he said.

It could also be present in water used to wash the products, he added.

While officials are working to pinpoint the source, the department advised producers to tighten control over inputs and farming practices, and thoroughly check cadmium levels before shipping.

China has issued several warnings about cadmium contamination in Vietnamese durian, but the latest alert is more pressing, the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association admitted.

The first related to six shipments in May and June 2023 and the second to 23 others between November 2023 and January 2024, it said.

In 2023 China imported 493,000 tons of durian for US$2.1 billion from Vietnam, 1,107% and 1,036% up in volume and value terms from the previous year.

Vietnam has 708 durian farming areas and 168 packaging facilities that comply with China’s import quality standards.

Source: VnExpress