FDA warns against purchase, consumption of unregistered turmeric, ginger powder

Marje Pelayo   •   March 12, 2019   •   3624

Turmeric powder| Photo by Simon A. Eugster on Wikimedia Commons

MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns the public against consumption of food products that were not registered and were not issued with proper authorization by the agency.

Specifically, the FDA advises consumers to be vigilant in purchasing ginger and turmeric powder or tea brands that are not checked by the agency in pursuant to R.A. 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009.

Some brands of ginger tea and turmeric powder that are banned by the FDA include:

  • Dollie’s Pure Turmeric Powder, Sugar Free
  • Dollie’s Pure Turmeric Tea (Bag)
  • IJ Turmeric Products Turmeric Instant Herbal Tea
  • Turmeric Fortified With 95% Curcumin C3 Complex Dietary Supplement
  • G Stuff Turmeric and Ginger Tea
  • G Stuff Amazing Tea
  • Reyes Turmeric Tea

Ginger root is known for its powerful medicinal benefits aside from being one of the favorite spices in the world.

Turmeric, a yellow-colored root also from the ginger family, is not only a popular spice in East India and Middle Eastern cuisines, it also boasts of anti-inflammatory agents as well as other properties that are helpful in curing several conditions such menstrual problems, hemorrhaging, toothaches, bruises, chest pain, flatulence, blood in the urine, among others.

Based on the FDA post-marketing surveillance (PMS) activities, these “unregistered food products have not gone through evaluation and testing process” and the agency “cannot guarantee their quality and safety.”

“Consumption of such violative products may pose potential health hazard to the consuming public,” the FDA said on its website.

The agency reminds consumers to be cautious in buying and consuming unregistered food products and urges the public to always check and verify product registration through the FDA website www.fda.gov.ph.

Meanwhile, concerned establishments are warned not to sell such violative food products until they get proper registration and authorization.

Regulatory actions and sanctions shall be strictly pursued against violators.

The agency also asked local government units (LGU) and law enforcement agencies “to ensure that these products are not sold or made available in their localities or areas of jurisdiction.”

List of other unregistered products banned by the FDA may be found on the agency’s official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FDAPhilippines/.

The public is further advised to report continuous sale or distribution of unregistered food products to www.fda.gov.ph/ereport, or send an e-mail to foodsafety@fda.gov.ph, or call the Center for Food Regulation and Research (CFRR) hotline (02) 857-1900 local 8115 and 8112. – Marje Pelayo

Duterte approves hiring of additional workers for FDA, DOST

Marje Pelayo   •   April 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is busy processing applications for licenses of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test kits and all other products necessary in the country’s fight against the global pandemic.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), meanwhile, is focusing on research and development of treatment or vaccine against COVID-19.

Due to the volume of work and the high demand for additional workforce, President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the two agencies to hire more personnel to join the government’s COVID-19 response.

“I have authorized these two offices — the FDA and the DOST — to employ as much as many that would be required to expedite [the processes] and to enable the agencies to work day and night. As I have said, we are fighting a war here, a crisis,” the President said in Filipino during his live address to the nation on Monday (April 27).

Meanwhile in his Joint Congressional Oversight Committee report, the President noted that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) already approved the hiring of additional workers for the Department of Health (DOH). 

The DOH requested for additional 15,757 healthcare professionals who will be given three-months contract of service and will be funded with P2.7-billion.

The DOH said seven hospitals have signified their request for additional medical personnel to cope with the volume of workload in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

FDA approves 16 COVID-19 rapid test kits

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 20, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 16 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rapid antibody test kits for commercial use.

“These applications have completed necessary documentary requirements and have undergone review and evaluation by the FDA,” according to the FDA in a statement.

The rapid test kits detect the presence of antibodies in an individual’s blood or serum. This is to determine if the individual has previously contracted the coronavirus and developed antibodies for it.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo previously said they want people to have access to the testing kits but the testing should still be subjected to proper protocols.

“The rapid test kits will yield a faster result compared to PCR based kits, but it is important that a trained health professional will evaluate and interpret the results,” he said.

The FDA, moreover, reminds the public that each rapid test kits have different specifications and the tests should still be administered by trained health professionals.

“The agency reiterates that these kits are strictly for medical professional use only and not intended for personal use,” the statement reads.

FDA warns public vs use of drugs, vaccines with unproven COVID-19 treatment claims

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public against using medicines or vaccines that have not been proven safe and effective in the treatment of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Currently there are no registered drugs or vaccines that are licensed specifically for use in COVID-19 treatment or prevention,” the FDA said in a statement on Wednesday.

The FDA said there are on-going clinical trials to investigate the safety and efficacy of new and existing drugs, such as anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of COVID-19 infected individuals.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched the Solidarity Trial, a large-scale clinical trial participated by many countries (including the Philippines), which aims to identify evidenced-based treatment regimen for COVID-19,” the agency said.

It also said that manufacturers and vendors of unlicensed products such as PRODEX B and the Fabunan Antiviral Injections have been informed regarding the process and requirements to register their products with the FDA Center for Drug Regulation and Research (CDRR).

“No applications for product registration have been filed to date,” the FDA said.

“Until such products are proven safe and effective for use in the treatment of COVID-19 they cannot be dispensed to the public nor can therapeutic claims be made,” it added.

The agency assured it would continue to ensure the safety and efficacy of products to protect public health and commits to cooperate with all agencies to ensure prompt response to this global health crisis.

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