MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) wants the removal of fake vinegar from local markets.
This after the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) revealed the result of their tests on over 360 vinegar samples available in the Philippines.
The PNRI’s study showed that 8 out of 10 of the tested vinegar brands are fake or synthetic and not from natural sources.
Raymond Sucgang, Section Head of the PNRI Nuclear Analytical Techniques Applications Section explained that: “Condiments usually undergo the process of fermentation, and the raw materials must come from fruits and other natural products.”
His research team explained that vinegar and other condiments from natural or plant-based sources are safer than those derived from petroleum-based sources.
“One can only imagine all the impurities and residues from the petroleum by-products, which can be the source of various degenerative diseases,” he added.
The PNRI did not mention the brand names of the products used in the test but it assured that the results of the vinegar studies have already been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Vendors at Kamuning Market in Quezon City expressed concern on the health safety of their customers so they opt to sell branded vinegar, but some attest that there really are synthetic vinegar out in the market.
“Ang gusto po nilang mangyari dapat lahat ng mga tinitinda naming mga suka may mga brand na siya. May mga label, may expiration date, at saka may nakalagay kung ano ang ingredients,” noted stall owner Lizette Tedera.
(They require us to sell branded vinegar, equipped with label, expiration date and specific ingredients.)
“Mayroon talaga nyan. Hindi maiiwasan iyan kasi negosyo nila iyan. Iyong mga tinatakal-takal lang sa bote, iyon ang peke. May halong tubig at saka iyong gamot na hinahalo nila sa suka,” revealed Marrie Cleofe, also a store owner.
(It exists and it’s inevitable because it’s their business. Those sold in retail are synthetic. It contains water and a certain liquid used to make synthetic vinegar.)
But Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, in a statement, advised consumers “to exercise caution and discernment in buying vinegar from commercial establishments.”
Piñol stressed that pending the validation by the FDA of the study conducted by the PNRI, “a market advisory should be issued and the brands using Acetic Acid must be pulled out of the market” to ensure public safety as mandated under by the Food Safety Act of 2013.
The Agriculture Secretary recommends that consumers buy natural vinegar made out of coconut sap and water, sugarcane, nipa and fruits which are readily available in the market.
For its part, the Department of Health (DOH) said once the PNRI study has been validated by the FDA, they will order the pull out of vinegar brands proven synthetic from local markets.
The DOH stressed that only vinegar made from natural acetic acid are the ones allowed for sale and consumption, not those made with synthetic acetic acid.
At present, there are a total of 274 vinegar brands duly registered by the FDA.
“Kasi ang suka kapag ni-register sa FDA, ang classification natin kailangan dyan (gawa) sa natural fermentation ang acetic acid,” explained DOH Usec, Eric Domingo.
(For a vinegar (brand) to registered in FDA, its acetic acid content must be made through natural fermentation.)
“Kung totoo na mayroong mga brand dyan na gumagamit ng synthetic na acetic acid then mayroong mali sa kanilang labeling at saka sa kanilang rehistro at kailangan talaga nating imbestigahan,” Domingo concluded.
(If it’s true that some brands are using synthetic acetic acid, then it follows that there are errors in their labeling and registration thus we really need to investigate) – (with details from Rey Pelayo) Marje Pelayo
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The FDA has warned establishments against selling these products.
“All concerned establishments are warned not to distribute violative food products until they have been issued the appropriate authorization, a License to Operate (LTO) for the establishment, and a CPR for the food products,” according to the FDA.
They also advised the public to always check if a food product or food supplement is registered with the FDA through their website (www.fda.gov.ph).—AAC
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered Department of Health (DOH)-controlled hospitals to report cases that are related to using vape.
This was after health officials in the United Stated confirmed on Tuesday (September 10) that a 50-year-old man died of lung disease linked to vape use.
According to Dr. Anton Javier, project manager of Product Research and Standards Development Division Center for Cosmetics in the FDA, they might not monitor any illnesses related to using vape just yet because of the latency period.
“Because of the latency period nga po baka po wala pa tayo makita just yet. Pwede po kasing nagve-vape ka ngayon pero iyong mga magiging sakit niyo down the line pa, (Because of the latency period, we might not see [incidence] just yet. You can actually use vape now but your illness might appear down the line)” he said.
However, an expert said the confirmed case in the United States should not be a cause of alarm.
“It’s been well proven by laboratories in the US that deaths in Kansas whatever it is, has got nothing to do with e-cigarettes its what these people has put in e cigarettes that contains adulterated contaminants of cannabis,” according to Harm Reduction Expert Dr. Tikki Pang.
The FDA had previously released a regulation on using vape or e-cigarettes. Manufacturers or retailers were given until October 25 to register their products to the FDA.
The FDA has also warned against the dangers of the chemicals found in vape products. This include cynemaldehide which causes blockage in the lungs which can lead to difficulty in breathing.
Another dangerous chemical, according to the FDA, is diacetyl which causes bronchylitis or inflammation of the lungs.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)
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