Press Release
July 18, 2007

Pia urges consumers to rediscover Pinoy products, healthy food

In the wake of the government ban on several candy brands and food products from China after these were found to contain formaldehyde, Senator Pia S. Cayetano today called on Filipinos to be more cautious and discriminating about the kinds of products they consume.

At the same time, she called on consumers to start rediscovering and patronizing Philippine-made products that are known to undergo strict manufacturing practices and the standard screening process of the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) and help boost the economy in the process.

"Better yet, consumers should shift from packaged foods and rediscover non-processed food like fruits, freshly baked products and vegetables which are healthier and contain more nutrients," she added.

"One positive thing that could come out of this issue is that consumers will be prompted to rediscover locally made products and healthy food. There's more reason now to patronize our own products in the wake of the ban."

"Not only will we be on the safe side, but we will also be helping out domestic industries which have been struggling from cheap imports that have flooded the local market."

The lady senator, herself an entrepreneur, has been actively supporting "Yabang Pinoy," a youth-initiated campaign for renewing national pride and promoting Philippine-made products.

Cayetano hoped BFAD will be able to finish its tests on other Chinese products suspected of contamination soon. "The people should be more cautious and discriminating until the government has completed its tests on all products suspected of contamination," she said.

Chinese brands like the popular White Rabbit Creamy Candy, Milk Candy, Balrong Grape Biscuits and Yong Kang Foods Grape Biscuits were among the products banned by health officials following the closure of 180 food factories in China for using formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals.

Finally, Cayetano warned unscrupulous local traders against repackaging and re-selling the banned products at cheaper prices.

"I urge importers and distributors to voluntarily withdraw the banned goods from the market and refrain from selling to unscrupulous traders who could just repackage and re-sell these items at the expense of the health and safety of buyers," she concluded.

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