Brewer tagged in ‘poisoning’ taps third-party labs to test banned Carabao Cosmic Gin

Robie de Guzman   •   July 19, 2019   •   2283

Cosmic Carabao | Courtesy: Juan Brew Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – The manufacturer of the recently recalled Cosmic Carabao Gin said it is now investigating reports of alleged methanol poisoning and has tapped third-party laboratories to test the craft gin.

“This is to determine any possible issue in the production of the Cosmic Carabao Gin,” Juan Brew said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the seizure and confiscation as well as the banning of the clear liquid craft gin after gin samples collected and subjected to analysis were found positive for methanol.

The order was issued following reported incidents involving two women who fell ill shortly after allegedly consuming the said gin. The victims were rushed to separate hospitals where one of them reportedly died.

READ: FDA orders seizure, warns public of cosmic carabao gin

Methanol, according to the FDA, is a widely available chemical that has many industrial applications. It is also found in household products and fuel for aircraft.

Although it can occur naturally, the agency said, high concentrations of methanol could mean adulteration of the product.

The FDA also warned the public against the consumption of the said product as “this is currently unregistered and has been confirmed to contain a high level of methanol.”

But Juan Brew insists the company has been registered with the FDA since 2016 and its License to Operate is valid until 2023.

“Since 2016, the Company was granted ten individual Certificates of Product Registration (CPRs) for several varieties of beverages and not a single complaint was brought to our attention since then,” it said.

It also stressed it is aware of the unverified reports on social media about a case of methanol poisoning involving its product and that it has coordinated with the FDA probe.

“We assure the public that JBI is exerting all efforts to coordinate and cooperate with the FDA and other relevant agencies,” the brewer said.

“In the meantime, JBI has recalled Cosmic Carabao and has suspended the distribution thereof. Rest assured, JBI is continuously dedicated in creating quality products with equal regard for consumer health,” it added.

FDA eyes restricting sale of flavored e-cigarettes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 21, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Jerred Marsh (R) samples flavored vape juice from Nancy Reyes at the Vape Summit 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada May 2, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker/File Photo

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended to the 18th Congress to limit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

Officer in Charge, Food and Drug Administration Usec. Eric Domingo said this is to prevent children from trying vaping.

Domingo said because of these flavors, the children might think it is safe to consume.

“Of course dapat hindi siya attractive to minors. Gusto natin wala iyong mga flavor na candy, flavor na minsan cheesecake. Hindi ba ganiyan iyong mga flavor nila which attract children(Of course it should not be attractive to minors. We do not want the candy flavor, or the cheesecake flavor. Aren’t those flavors very attractive to children?),” he said.

READ: House OKs tax hike on alcohol, vape products on third reading

The FDA also said that one of the most effective ways to prevent the youth from doing vices is to increase its taxes.

The House of Representatives already approved the excise tax hike on alcohol and vape products on the third reading.

Vape PH, meanwhile, said that higher taxes can only force people to go back to smoking.

“Heavy taxes on reduced-risk products will only result in smokers sticking it out with conventional cigarettes instead of switching to less harmful nicotine products,” their statement reads.

The Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association (PECIA) said there was no public consultation for the proposed bill.

“Our organization could have provided the resources and studies to aid House Representatives understand tobacco harm reduction strategies being embraced by some countries,” according to their statement.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Batch of Similac Tummicare One Infant Formula recalled over label, scoop difference – FDA

Robie de Guzman   •   August 16, 2019

📷 FDA Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Abbot Laboratories, the maker of One Infant Formula, Similac Tummicare, has voluntarily recalled a batch of the product due to differences in the label instructions and scoop size, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) said.

In an advisory, the FDA said the 820-gram packs of Similac Tummicare with batch no. 03518QU, manufacturing date of March 2019 and expiration date of March 2022 “contained a smaller red preparation scoop compared to the white preparation scoop that is shown on the label instructions.”

Abbot Laboratories was prompted to issue a recall order after receiving an inquiry from a customer regarding the consistency.

“The product is safe to consume, however, if the red scoop is used to prepare the formula according to the label instructions and provided to an infant as a sole source of nutrition, it would not provide sufficient nutrition to support normal growth,” the FDA said in an advisory issued Wednesday.

Although Abbott Laboratories has not received any adverse events from the incident, the company “has decided to proceed with caution and voluntarily recalled the product from the market.”

The firm also clarified that the recall applies only to the product with batch no. 03518QU and no other Abbott Laboratories products are affected by this recall.

For information on how to obtain either a replacement product or full refund, consumers are advised to contact Abbott Laboratories hotline at telephone no. (02) 995-1555 (Manila) or 1800-10-995-1555 (Province) or email

The public may also email the FDA at for any question or additional information regarding the recall.

Dengvaxia won’t bring dengue cases down – DOH

Maris Federez   •   August 8, 2019

The controversial dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday maintained that Dengavaxia is not the answer to the problem of the high incidence of dengue in the country.

DOH spokesperson and Officer in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Usec. Eric Domingo explained that dengue is not like any other disease where vaccination is the only solution.

He stressed that Dengvaxia is still not a registered drug in the country and its efficacy is not yet fully proven.

“This vaccine is not for an outbreak response. It’s designed for future use sa mga taong nagka- dengue na dati [for people who have had dengue before],” Domingo said.

A World Health Organization (WHO) report showed that “Dengvaxia was first licensed in Mexico in December 2015 for use in individuals 9-45 years of age living in endemic areas, and is now licensed in 20 countries.”

It was then used in 11 countries in 2016, including the Philippines.

But it was only in September 2018 that the WHO recommended that Dengvaxia be only administered to children who were previously infected with dengue, adding that it is dangerous for those who have not yet gotten the disease.

This caused among the public, as well as, experts as the Philippines is the only country who had used Dengvaxia vaccination on a wider scope, with more than 800,000 children inoculated.

The DOH maintained that there is still no concrete study to date that claimed that children who are vaccinated with Dengvaxia will never be infected with dengue.

“It’s very difficult because you’re tested and then you’re positive but you’re actually false positive. Then if you give the Dengvaxia, who knows that the severe dengue reaction will not occur in a particular individual. So, there’s a risk, in other words,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said.  (with details from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf


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