FDA, PNRI urged to release list of synthetic vinegar brands

Marje Pelayo   •   May 21, 2019   •   4793

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release the list of vinegar brands that are produced, not from natural fermentation and “biogenic” ingredients but from synthetic acetic acid, citing protection of local vinegar-makers and the safety of consumers.

“I believe that there is simply no legal or moral basis for FDA to withhold the release of the ‘sour condiment’ brands which PNRI (Philippine Nuclear Research Institute) found using non-biogenic acetic acid,” Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said on his social media account Tuesday (May 21).

The Secretary said: “The release of the names will not only be in compliance with the Consumer Protection laws but also the observance of that very basic provision in the Philippine Constitution which bestows upon every Filipino the Right to Know.”

“The list of the “non-biogenic sour condiments” being passed off as vinegar in the market, whether they are safe for human consumption or not, should be released now,” he added.

The Agriculture Secretary noted the Department of Health’s (DOH) statement that synthetic acetic acid-based vinegar is “not totally unsafe.”

Given that statement, Piñol said agencies concerned agreed that the classification standards for commercial vinegar sold in the market to be changed to “biogenic” for those which use acetic acid produced through a natural fermentation process and “non-biogenic” for those which are made out of synthetic compounds.

Piñol stressed that while vinegar is always understood as a sour-tasting liquid made from natural ingredients and process of fermentation, any other product which offers the “sour” taste but did not go through the natural fermentation process should be properly labeled as synthetic acetic acid or “sour non-biogenic” condiment.”

“Thus, it is my position as Secretary of Agriculture that sour condiments made out of synthetic or non-biogenic acetic acid should not be labeled as “vinegar” or “suka,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, consumer group Laban Konsyumer expressed its support to the DA in its call for the release of the list of vinegar brands using “non-biogenic” acetic acid given that the PNRI claims that such ingredients do not cause cancer or harm consumers’ health.

The group’s president Atty. Vic Dimagiba also called on the agencies to take responsibility and address the public for the confusion that the issue has caused.

“Dapat din humingi ng paumanhin sa publiko ang PNRI sa maling ulat na galing sa kanila dahil nagdulot ito ng pagkabahala o anxiety sa mga konsyumers,” Dimagiba said.

(The PNRI should make a public apology because of their erroneous report that caused panic or anxiety to consumers.)

“Sa FDA at DOH, ilathala din ang sinabi nilang mislabeling violation ng mga bramds ng suka at recall and patawan ng multa ayon sa Food Safety Law at Consumer Act,” he concluded.

(The FDA and DOH should also publish what they claim as mislabeling violation of these brands of vinegar, recall and fine them according to the Food Safety Law and Consumer Act.) – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

32% ng senior citizens sa bansa, fully vaccinated vs COVID-19 — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   August 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Nasa 32 porsiyento na ng mga senior citizen sa bansa ang nabakunahan laban sa COVID-19, ayon sa Department of Health (DOH).

Mula Agosto 1, mahigit na sa 2.6 milyong senior citizen ang fully vaccinated habang nasa 2.8 milyon ang nakatanggap ng first dose.

Sa Metro Manila, halos 63 percent na ng mga senior citizen na nakalista sa master list ang mga fully vaccinated habang 68 percent naman ay nabakunahan ng first dose.

Ngunit ayon kay Dr. Beverly Ho, ang direktor ng DOH Health Promotion Bureau, malaking bilang pa rin ng mga nasa A2 priority group ang kailangang mabakunahan sa gitna na rin ng banta ng Delta COVID-19 variant sa Pilipinas.

Kaya panawagan ni Ho sa publiko, lalo na sa bawat pamilyang may miyembro na senior citizen, na kumbinsihin ang mga matatanda na magpaturok na laban sa coronavirus disease upang mabigyan sila ng proteksyon mula sa nakakahawang sakit.

“Mahalaga rin po na alam natin na ngayon lumalabas po sa ating mga datos na ang mga senior citizens nakikinig po talaga sila sa mga taong malapit sa kanila , it could be family, friends na nabanukahan na mga fellow senior citizens at mga physicians o healthcare providers na malapit rin sa kanila,” ang wika ni Ho.

Tiniyak naman ng opisyal na may ginagawa nang paraan ang mga lokal na pamahalaan upang mahikayat ang mas marami pang senior citizen na magpabakuna.

Halimbawa nito ay ang pagsasagawa ng house-to-house na pagbabakuna lalo na sa mga lolo at lola na may mga karamdaman.

Katuwang ng DOH sa pagpapaigting ng vaccination program ang National Commission for Senior Citizens.

Ayon kay Atty. Franklin Quijano, ang pinuno ng komisyon, marami sa kanilang hanay ang gusto nang magpaturok pero ang problema, maraming lugar sa bansa ang limitado ang supply ng bakuna.

“We understand kasi na ang inuuna ngayon Metro Manila at ang mga lugar na may medyo mataas ang rates ng COVID, so in which case maraming nagrereklamo po sa mga areas na medyo hindi pa nabibigyan ng bakuna dahil nga po hindi pa dumarating ang mga bakuna,” ani Quijano.

“We would like to assure you marami po talagang senior citizens ang gustong magpabakuna ang problema nga lang hindi pa dumarating ang suplay dahil meron tayong priority areas,” dagdag pa niya.

Samantala, sang-ayon ang DOH sa pahayag ng World Health Organization (WHO) na bilisan pa ang pagpapabakuna sa mga senior citizen lalo’t mayorya ng mga Pilipinong namamatay sa COVID-19 ay pawang mga may edad na.

“Alam po natin na talaga po all those people more than 60 years old, they actually account for more than 60 percent ng mga namamatay sa COVID-19 dito sa ating bansa,” ang pahayag ni Ho.

“Yung percentage po na namamatay na senior citizens tumataas habang tumaas po yung kanilang edad,” dagdag pa niya.

Una nang inirekomenda ng WHO na gawing prayoridad sa pagbabakuna ang mga senior citizen at may comorbidites upang mapigilan ang pagka-puno ng mga ospital ng mga pasyenteng may malalang kaso ng COVID-19. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Marvin Calas)

Aklan calls for more COVID-19 vaccines, medical supplies amid surge in cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 4, 2021

Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores is calling on the Department of Health (DOH) to provide additional COVID-19 vaccines, medical supplies and equipment as the province battles surging cases.

Humihingi kami ng tulong sa IATF na, kung pwede, bigyan pa kami ng additional equipment and medicine supplies for our COVID-19 response,” he said.

During a virtual public briefing on Wednesday (August 4), Miraflores said that Aklan has logged 184 deaths from March last year to the present.

From May to July, the average daily attack rate in the province recorded an increase and is now at 22%. The official also reported that more than 80% of COVID-19 beds are already occupied.

Miraflores added that they have appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to put the province under stricter quarantine classification, from general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

 

9 na rehiyon sa bansa, may local cases ng Delta COVID-19 variant — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   August 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Umaabot na sa siyam na rehiyon sa bansa ang nakapagtala ng local cases ng Delta COVID-19 variant, ayon sa Department of Health (DOH).

Batay sa monitoring ng ahensiya, naitala ang mga ito sa Ilocos region, National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao at Davao.

Ayon kay Dr. Alethea de Guzman, Director 3 ng DOH Epidemiology Bureau, nasa 165 ang naitalang local cases mula sa 216 kabuuang kaso ng Delta variant sa bansa.

Sa mga carrier nito, 190 na ang gumaling habang siyam naman ang nasawi.

“Nakakatakot po but with correct messaging we can alleviate the panic that people and all sectors are experiencing because of this,” ani De Guzman.

Bagama’t dumarami ang kaso ng Delta variant sa Pilipinas, sinabi ng DOH na pinakamataas pa rin ang naitatalang kaso ng Beta variant na unang natuklasan sa South Africa.

Ngunit naniniwala ang mga eksperto na posibleng may undetected cases ng Delta variant dahil na rin sa limitadong kapasidad ng bansa sa genome sequencing.

Ayon kay De Guzman, sa ngayon ay nasa moderate risk classification ang Pilipinas dahil umabot na sa 50 porsiyento ng health system capacity ang okupado. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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