Larval feed unfairly blamed for Vietnamese shrimp losses

Testing exonerates feed company
July 15, 2009

Larval feed unfairly blamed for Vietnamese shrimp losses

A recent report issued by Vietnam News Agency on the mass losses of shrimp larvae in the southern Vietnamese  province of Bac Lieu suggests feed may be the problem.  Philippe Léger from Inve, the company at the heart of the story, told  “The report is a painful example on how premature releases of information/disinformation may harm the good name and fame of companies.”

VNA reported that most of those facing losses are blaming the death of the shrimp on the feed.

"It can be only because of the food. My tiger shrimp had no sign of diseases," said Phan Huu Duc, owner of Duc Dung Farm in Ganh Hao Township of Dong Hai District, who said some 40 million of his tiger shrimp died. He estimated losses of US$16,000.

Duc, who has been using Frippak larval feed for shrimp for more than 10 years, said the product was the most effective food for his tiger shrimp. If the food would be found to be the cause of the shrimp death, there is currently no suitable substitute for it.

According to Léger, on April 29 some farmers in the Ganh Hao, Bac Lieu area reported shrimp larvae dying within 15-30 minutes of feeding the INVE diet. Together with INVE’s distributor Ngoc Trai Company, INVE Vietnam requested the Fisheries Inspection of Agriculture & Rural Development Department of Bac Lieu Province (FIARD) to take samples for testing. On May 29 Mr. Vo Thanh Hai, Chief of FIARD, announced the results from the analysis as released by QATC3 (Quality Assurance Testing Center 3): the suspected feed samples meet all the quality standards as per the registration.

“A group of 16 farmers did not accept the results since the analysis did not show the presence of harmful substances”, Léger said. “In the meantime a known person had ‘organized’ his own sample that contained pesticides. He sent the result to 16 famers after erasing his name from the certificate; a copy was also sent to FIARD. Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Do Xuan Manh, Vice Director of Economic Police of Bac Lieu Province assigned a team to investigate the problem and had FIARD analyzing a second sample of the original feed samples. The results have been released today and no harmful components including pesticides were detected”.

Mr Phan Huu Duc, representing the 16 farmers, will now issue a letter of apology rectifying the false allegations with respect to the quality of the INVE’s feed.

Legal action is being prepared against the person/company that forged the quality of the product and started the whole story.

“The combination of unfair competition and the speed of internet may be detrimental to the good name and fame of companies indeed,” Léger added .