FDA orders recall of pork products from African Swine Fever-affected countries

Marje Pelayo   •   May 28, 2019   •   4441

MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered a market recall of all pork-based products that are manufactured from countries affected by the deadly pig virus African Swine Fever (ASF).

The recall order includes canned goods like luncheon meat and processed pork with manufacturing date from August 2018 when the country’s import ban on pork took effect, up to present.

The agency also calls on traders not to sell these products anymore.

According to Health Undersecretary and FDA Officer-In-Charge Eric Domingo, ASF is highly contagious and the risk is high especially when contamination spreads into the country’s swine industry.

Domingo noted a recent study which reveals the possibility that the ASF virus could still survive even the highest temperature during processing.

Though there is no recorded proof of human transmission, the ASF virus present in processed pork or pork-based products may pose a threat to live pigs.

“In this case we are banning this product primarily because of food security. Mabilis kasing mag-spread itong African Swine Flu (spreads easily) and it affects live stocks,” Domingo said.

The FDA has rolled out an investigation as to how the pork products were able to enter the country despite the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s import ban that started in August 2018.

Domingo added that since the import ban took effect, the issuance of import permit was also put on hold thus the entry of such items was definitely questionable.

Wala naman kasi na ibinibigay na certificate of product registration ang DA since late last year so hindi na dapat iyan naipapasok sa Pilipinas,” he explained.

(The DA no longer issues certificates of product registration since last year so those items shouldn’t have entered the Philippines.)

African Swine Fever (ASF) cases were first reported in Africa and several European countries.

The outbreak of the virus also killed millions of pigs in China last year.

Just this year, the virus further spread to its neighboring countries Mongolia, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Based on record from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the ASF virus has already killed about 2.6 million pigs in the mentioned countries.

“Ipinakikiusap namin sa mga nagtitinda na mismo kung meron silang mga produkto na mga meat products na de lata na nanggaling doon sa mga bansa na binanggit natin, sana i-recall na nila,” Domingo appeals to traders.

(We are calling all traders to have the initiative to recall the meat products and canned goods themselves particularly those which came from the ASF-affected countries.)

“Sila na mismo itago na nila. Huwag na nilang ibenta at i-report nila sa amin para ma-trace natin kung saan nanggaling at make sure lang na hindi na po ito kumalat,” he added.

(Have the initiative to pull them out of the store shelves. Do not sell them anymore and report to us so we may be able to trace their origin and also to make sure we prevent the spread of the virus.)

At present, the DA’s Bureau of Quarantine has foot baths in place at international airports across the country for passengers coming from ASF-affected countries.

These will caution passengers of the preventive measures the government is taking to prevent the spread of the deadly pig virus.

“Posibleng hindi nakarating sa kanila. Posibleng hindi nila nabasa. But upon arriving at the airport of entry, sinabihan ka ng Quarantine (officer) na hindi pwede, magpupumilit ka ba? At ang gagamitin mong dahilan ay hindi mo alam? Hindi pwdeng ganun,” Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said.

(It may not have reached their knowledge or possibly have not read about the ban, but upon arriving at the airport and the quarantine officer tells you that those items are banned, would you still insist? Would you still reason out that you didn’t know about it? It doesn’t work that way.)

The agency will request for additional K9 units as well as the installation of x-ray machines to screen passengers’ baggage.

Confiscated banned products will be destroyed or burned, according to DA. – (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Aplikasyon para sa 2 brand ng COVID-19 self-test kits, pinoproseso na – FDA

Robie de Guzman   •   January 11, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Sinisimulan na ng Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ang pagproseso sa aplikasyon ng dalawang brand ng COVID-19 self-test kits.

Ayon kay FDA director general Oscar Guiterrez, sinusuri na ng ahensiya ang mga aplikasyon para sa paglalabas ng special certification

“Dalawa po ang ini-evaluate ng FDA sa ngayon. Na-endorse na po ito kahapon sa RITM para sa technical validation. Once matapos po ng RITM, pwede na po mabigyan ng FDA ng special certification,” ani Gutierrez.

Habang wala pang aprubadong COVID-19 home test kits sa bansa, nagpaalala ang Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sa publiko na mag-ingat sa mga ibinibentang COVID-19 home test kits online.

Ayon kay DTI Assistant Secretary Ann Claire Cabochan, hindi dapat tangkilikin ang mga ‘di rehistradong self-administered tesing kits dahil hindi tiyak kung ligtas itong gamitin o kung dumaan sa pagsusuri ng mga eksperto.

“Doon sa mga self-test kits na alam ko din na naging very in demand as of this time, of course, that has not been given the proper certification from the Food and Drug Administration to be sold here in the Philippines kaya hindi siya talaga dapat ibinebenta,” ani Cabochan.

Babala ng opisyal, maaaring maharap sa reklamo ang sinomang nagbebenta ng hindi rehistradong self-test kits sa bansa.

pwede nating habulin yung mga nagbebenta n’yan online for as long as this is not certified as legitimate to be sold in the Philippines,” ani Cabochan. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

PH FDA says application for certification of self-administered COVID test kits now open

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it has opened the applications for the certification of home test kits for COVID-19 amid the demand for testing due to the growing infection rate.

“I am calling po all the manufacturers and even the importers of self-administered COVID-19 test kits that — to register their product in a form of special certification,” Dr. Oscar Gutierrez Jr., FDA OIC director general, said during President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People on Thursday.

Gutierrez said they have already met with the Department of Health (DOH) for the issuance of the guidelines on the use of these self-administered kits and how people who use them can report the results.

 “We already met with the DOH and they will be coming out with an algorithm actually a guideline or policy on the use of these home test kits considering that these products need to be administered by the patient or the household themselves,” he said.

“Kailangan po natin ng guidelines on the use, reporting system, even disposal of the waste, interpretation of the test results, and what actions should the individual take when he finds out that he is positive,” he added.

Gutierrez said self-administered test kits will get samples from individuals orally or through the mouth, and nasally or through the nose.

All the antigen test kits currently approved by the FDA are only administered by laboratories and healthcare professionals.

The DOH earlier reiterated the proper use of antigen test kits at the right time for more accurate test results. The agency said antigen test is better used to check symptomatic persons for COVID-19 infection.

Domingo resigns as FDA chief

Maris Federez   •   January 3, 2022


MANILA, Philippines — Dr. Eric Domingo on Monday confirmed his resignation as director-general of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) effective January 3, 2022.

In a text message to reporters, Domingo said he is resigning as “he already did his part during the pandemic”.

“The FDA is now stronger, more efficient and systems are in place. It’s time for me to move on to other things,” he added.

The Department of Health (DOH), in a statement, also confirmed Domingo’s resignation, adding that FDA deputy director-general Dr. Oscar Guiterrez has been appointed as the department’s officer-in-charge, replacing Domingo.

“Yes. We confirm the resignation of FDA Director-General Eric Domingo. Dr. Oscar Gutierrez, Deputy Director-General, FDA, was assigned as OIC,” the statement read.

Domingo was first appointed as OIC of the FDA in May 2019.

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed him as director-general in February 2020. —/mbmf


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