DA wants ‘fake’ vinegar removed from market

Marje Pelayo   •   May 20, 2019   •   3944

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) wants the removal of fake vinegar from local markets.

This after the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) revealed the result of their tests on over 360 vinegar samples available in the Philippines.

The PNRI’s study showed that 8 out of 10 of the tested vinegar brands are fake or synthetic and not from natural sources.

Raymond Sucgang, Section Head of the PNRI Nuclear Analytical Techniques Applications Section explained that: “Condiments usually undergo the process of fermentation, and the raw materials must come from fruits and other natural products.”

His research team explained that vinegar and other condiments from natural or plant-based sources are safer than those derived from petroleum-based sources.

“One can only imagine all the impurities and residues from the petroleum by-products, which can be the source of various degenerative diseases,” he added.

The PNRI did not mention the brand names of the products used in the test but it assured that the results of the vinegar studies have already been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Vendors at Kamuning Market in Quezon City expressed concern on the health safety of their customers so they opt to sell branded vinegar, but some attest that there really are synthetic vinegar out in the market.

“Ang gusto po nilang mangyari dapat lahat ng mga tinitinda naming mga suka may mga brand na siya. May mga label, may expiration date, at saka may nakalagay kung ano ang ingredients,” noted stall owner Lizette Tedera.

(They require us to sell branded vinegar, equipped with label, expiration date and specific ingredients.)

“Mayroon talaga nyan. Hindi maiiwasan iyan kasi negosyo nila iyan. Iyong mga tinatakal-takal lang sa bote, iyon ang peke. May halong tubig at saka iyong gamot na hinahalo nila sa suka,” revealed Marrie Cleofe, also a store owner.

(It exists and it’s inevitable because it’s their business. Those sold in retail are synthetic. It contains water and a certain liquid used to make synthetic vinegar.)

But Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, in a statement, advised consumers “to exercise caution and discernment in buying vinegar from commercial establishments.”

Piñol stressed that pending the validation by the FDA of the study conducted by the PNRI, “a market advisory should be issued and the brands using Acetic Acid must be pulled out of the market” to ensure public safety as mandated under by the Food Safety Act of 2013.

The Agriculture Secretary recommends that consumers buy natural vinegar made out of coconut sap and water, sugarcane, nipa and fruits which are readily available in the market.

For its part, the Department of Health (DOH) said once the PNRI study has been validated by the FDA, they will order the pull out of vinegar brands proven synthetic from local markets.

The DOH stressed that only vinegar made from natural acetic acid are the ones allowed for sale and consumption, not those made with synthetic acetic acid.

At present, there are a total of 274 vinegar brands duly registered by the FDA.

“Kasi ang suka kapag ni-register sa FDA, ang classification natin kailangan dyan (gawa) sa natural fermentation ang acetic acid,” explained DOH Usec, Eric Domingo.

(For a vinegar (brand) to registered in FDA, its acetic acid content must be made through natural fermentation.)

“Kung totoo na mayroong mga brand dyan na gumagamit ng synthetic na acetic acid then mayroong mali sa kanilang labeling at saka sa kanilang rehistro at kailangan talaga nating imbestigahan,” Domingo concluded.

(If it’s true that some brands are using synthetic acetic acid, then it follows that there are errors in their labeling and registration thus we really need to investigate) – (with details from Rey Pelayo) Marje Pelayo

FDA issues health warning vs lollipop brand over unauthorized use of condom foil packs as wrapper

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 12, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns the public against the purchase and consumption of unregistered Dipzy Cornpop Lollipops.

The said Dipzy Cornpop Lollipops under the company MM Lucky Multisales Corporation has unauthorized use of Durex condom foil packaging as lollipop wrapper.

“The FDA was notified by the company Baranda & Associates that Durex condom foil packaging is being used as lollipop wrapper by the company MM Marketing reflected on its label,” according to the FDA advisory.

“The FDA verified that the above mentioned food products are not authorized and the Certificates of Product Registration have not been issued,” the advisory further reads.

Concerned establishments are also warned not to distribute the said food products.—AAC

State of calamity declared in Davao Occidental town due to African Swine Fever

Robie de Guzman   •   February 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The town of Don Marcelino in Davao Occidental has declared a state of calamity after samples from 1,000 dead pigs yielded positive results for African Swine Fever (ASF).

The Municipal Agriculture Office on Monday confirmed that the town has been placed under a state of calamity on Sunday after authorities found that hundreds of pigs from eight of its villages were infected with ASF.

A memorandum issued by the local government identified these areas as Barangays Lindasan, North Lamidan, South Lamidan, Calian, Mabuhay, Lawa, Nueva Villa and Baluntayan.

In view of this, local authorities have activated the Regional Animal Disease Task Force to contain the swine disease.

Since the town has been placed on lockdown, the moving of hogs in and out of Don Marcelino, as well as selling of pork meat and other processed pork products will also be prohibited.

Quarantine checkpoints at the entry and exit points of the municipality were also ordered established.

Authorities said the investigation is still ongoing on how the swine disease from Luzon reached Davao Occidental. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Marisol Montaño)

PH bans poultry meat from Poland

Marje Pelayo   •   January 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities announced an import ban on poultry meat coming from Poland based on a memorandum order issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) dated January 21.

The ban covers the importation of all domesticated and wild birds even eggs and sperm from Polish chickens.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) reported an outbreak of bird flu or avian influenza with a subtype of H5N8 in Poland today.

“Gusto natin na ma-maintain natin sa free tayo,” explained BAI Director Ronnie Domingo.

“Ang posible lang na makapasok ay ang migratory birds or ang mga importation natin ng poultry coming from other countries. Kaya pagka ganyan na may report na sa ibang bansa, stop na,” he said.

BAI also noted an outbreak of bird flu from April to September 2017 in several municipalities in Central Luzon which impacted several farms in the region.

Thousands of fowls were culled to curb the spread of the disease.

But Domingo clarified that since the mid of 2018, the Philippines reported it has controlled the virus and eventually declared the country bird-flu free to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

A total of five countries were recommended to issue an import ban but it was Poland which the DA approved first, Domingo concluded. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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