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Stricter standards for vinegar brands—FDA

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2019

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to implement stricter standards for vinegar products sold in the Philippine market.

This was after reports that several vinegar products made from synthetic raw materials are harmful to health.

Before former FDA Director-General Nela Charade Puno was asked to step down from her post, she said the agency is waiting for the final report of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) which studied samples of some 360 vinegar brands.

READ: Duterte fires FDA chief Puno over alleged corruption

Puno added that they will also implement an intensive consumer awareness and education program.

FDA also warned of actions that will be taken against individuals who continue to sell unapproved vinegar products.

READ: Sacked FDA chief Puno denies corruption allegations

“Let me already tell the peddlers who will continue to sell vinegar products which will not pass the new FDA standards, there will be a major crackdown on these products followed by sustained regulatory enforcement action,” Puno said.

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FDA orders seizure, warns public of Cosmic Carabao Gin

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Cosmic Carabao | Courtesy: Juan Brew Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday ordered the seizure of Cosmic Carabao Gin products after its samples were found positive for methanol.

In an advisory, the FDA said the order was issued following the 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.

FDA officer-in-charge Eric Domingo earlier said he received a report that one of the victims had methanol poisoning.

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

Non-toxic trace amounts of methanol can also be naturally found in fruit juices. It can also be a product of natural fermentation and is found in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

The FDA said higher concentrations of methanol in alcoholic drinks can happen when methanol is deliberately added to alcoholic drinks.

Signs and symptoms of methanol poisoning include vomiting, abdominal pain, hyperventilation and feeling of breathlessness. Blindness can also happen in severe cases.

The FDA said the Cosmic Carabao Gin was manufactured by Juan Brewing, Inc.

In its website, Juan Brew said the clear liquid craft gin is “an out of this world citrus-forward Gin,” made with “distilled water, neutral spirit (from sugarcane), juniper berries, coriander seeds, dayap lime, angelica plant root, kaffir leaves, green, cardamom pods.”

In its Facebook post, the company said it is now verifying reports but did not address questions regarding the product’s certificate of product registration.

“We would like to emphasize that our company is dedicated to the highest standard in [the] processing of our products and puts the health of our consumers above all,” it said.

In a separate advisory, the FDA said it has ordered the “sealing of all raw materials, including in-process distillates, and seizure of all unregistered Cosmic Carabao Gin” in the facility of Juan Brewing Inc. and all those that are on sale in the market.

It also requested local government units and law enforcement agencies to ensure that this product is not sold or made available in their areas of jurisdiction.

The FDA also warns 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.”

“Consumers must also exercise extreme caution in buying alcoholic drinks, especially those that do not have labels, poorly printed labels or with broken seals,” it added.

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FDA warns public against injectable glutathione for skin whitening

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Courtesy : Unsplash

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public about the dangers of injectable glutathione for skin whitening.

The FDA said there are no published clinical trials that evaluated the use of injectable glutathione for skin lightening. There are also no guidelines for appropriate doses and duration of treatment.

In the Philippines, there are beauty salons, wellness spas and beauty clinics offering beauty enhancements like intravenous drip using skin lightening agents.

“Side effects on the use of injectable glutathione for skin lightening include toxic effects on the liver, kidneys, and nervous system. Also of concern is the possibility of Stevens Johnson Syndrome,” their statement reads.

The FDA adds that they also have not approved any injectable products for lightening skin. They said they only approved the ones that are being used as an adjunct treatment in cisplatin chemotherapy.

Other potential risks include transmission of infectious agents such as HIV, hepatitis C and B.—AAC

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FDA verifies 5 vinegar brands containing ‘synthetic acetic acid’

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has verified five vinegar brands containing synthetic acetic acid after they tested 39 vinegar samples in the market.

Based on the released advisory of the FDA on Tuesday (June 4), the five vinegar brands containing synthetic acetic acid should not be sold to the public.

  • Surebuy Cane Vinegar
  • Tentay Pinoy Style Vinegar
  • Tentay Premium Vinegar
  • Tentay Vinegar ‘Sukang Tunay Asim’
  • Chef’s Flavor Vinegar

However, the FDA clarified that synthetic acetic acid does not pose any health risk to an individual.

“The presence of synthetic acetic acid is not a safety issue and does not pose any health risk to consumers as this only means that the vinegar is of substandard quality,” the advisory reads.

The FDA advisory also states there will be inspections “to further verify whether the producers of the above products use synthetic acetic acid.”

“Appropriate regulatory action shall be imposed on those non-compliant establishments found violating current standards, rules,and regulations of the FDA.”(with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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