By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, July 13 (PNA) – Amid reports of food contamination and alleged fake rice, Senator Cynthia Villar on Monday called for the immediate implementation of Republic Act No. 10611 or known as Food Safety Act of 2013.
”Perhaps these things happen because it’s a wake-up call for the implementation of the Food Safety law. Sometimes, thing happens for you to question why certain laws are not being implemented,” Villar told the media after the Senate inquiry on fake rice in Davao City.
”This bill was passed in 2013. It should have been implemented already but they said they will meet next week for the first time. So why it took so long?” she asked.
According to the law which was signed on August 23, 2013, the consumers should be protected from food-borne and water-borne illnesses and unsanitary, unwholesome, and misbranded or adulterated foods.
It also aims to enhance industry and consumer confidence in the food regulatory system and improve the economy.
In the Senate hearing, the National Food Authority (NFA) said there were no traces of evidence to conclude the existence of fake rice based on the collected raw rice samples.
However, the laboratory findings of the FDC and the Department of Health (DOH) showed the presence of contaminant in the submitted sample of leftover rice from a certain Carmencita Falle Grino of Davao City.
NFA assistant director for Food Development Center (FDC) Alberto Cariso Jr. said, however, the contaminant, mostly likely Dibutyl Phthlate, is subject for further confirmatory test.
Kenneth Hartigan-Go, undersecretary for health regulation of the DOH representing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said the chemicals found from the leftover rice are found in pharmaceutical products such as food coloring, flavoring agents and coating for tablets.
Nearly 2,000 schoolchildren in Surigao del Sur were rushed to hospitals Friday after they complained of dizziness and vomiting allegedly caused by contaminated durian candies.
Earlier this month, expired chocolate candies downed 36 Butuan City students.
Mushrooms bought in two town markets were tagged as the culprits in the hospitalization of 17 people in Pangasinan last June 26.
Also last month, 39 pupils and a teacher in Cauayan, Negros Occidental were brought to various hospitals due to alleged food poisoning after eating bichokoy, a local version of the doughnut. (PNA)