Press Release
March 24, 2010


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. today disclosed that Turkish flour is being used not only in bread consumed by ordinary folk, such as pan de sal, pan de limon, pan de coco and monay, but also in noodles.

"According to information I gathered, among the biggest users of toxic Turkish flour are the pancit makers in Bato, Camarines Sur," Pimentel said.

Pimentel added that the Bicol region accounts for 50 percent of sales of noodles with the brand name Malabon Long Life which is alleged to possibly used tainted Turkish flour.

Pimentel scored the government, particularly the Department of Health, for not acting promptly on the reported threat posed on the health of Filipinos by toxic Turkish flour.

"The Health Department is well aware of reports that Turkish flour could be contaminated by cancer-causing mycotoxins. And that's why they're saying that the Bureau of Food and Drugs is now conducting tests to determine the extent of contamination," Pimentel said.

Pimentel said that health authorities should not wait for anyone to fall seriously ill or even die from eating bread and noodles made from contaminated Turkish flour to raise a public health alarm.

"If they were already aware of the health risk from Turkish flour, why did they not issue a public health warning? Why did they have to wait for media to come out with reports of toxic Turkish flour?" Pimentel asked.

Contaminated Turkish flour imports, according to Pimentel, not only pose a distinct and grave threat to public health but also deprive the government of much-needed revenues.

The senator earlier said that Turkish flour imports had been undervalued and misdeclared when they entered the country's ports, thus leading to huge revenue losses for the government.

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