By Liza Soriano
MANILA — Senator Raffy Tulfo urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to safeguard consumers from goods that are harmful to their health, especially quick noodles and canned sardines with a high sodium content that are frequently consumed by people in the lower socioeconomic group.
Tulfo said in order to encourage producers to identify better sodium chloride substitutes and reduce the health concerns of consuming too much salt, DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual should work with the relevant regulatory bodies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Ang mahihirap nating mga kababayan, mukhang napapabayaan. 1.2M Filipinos annually ang nagkakasakit po sa kidney dahil sa pagkonsumo ng maaalat na produkto ayon sa National Kidney Institute. Ang instant noodles hindi lang once a day kinakain ng mga mahihirap, kasi ito po ang kanilang abot-kaya. Kaya nga po ang tawag dito ay poor-man’s food,” he said.
“If you know that these products are not good for the health of the Filipino people, na sinabi na ring paulit-ulit na ng mga health experts, dapat po ay umaksyon na kayo agad, at kayo mismo ang gumagawa ng initiative to refer the issue to the agency concerned. Hindi ‘yung sasabihin niyong, hindi niyo trabaho ‘yan, at magtuturo kayo ng ibang departamento,” the senator added.
While he is not against the production of instant noodles and sardines, Tulfo raised concern about the high level of sodium found in these products.
Unlike in Japan and the US, the sodium levels on instant noodles and sardines were reduced to normal levels even as Tulfo noted how one pack of locally-made instant noodles has sodium content ranging from 1,600mg to 1,900mg.
The recommended daily intake of sodium is only a maximum of 2,000mg he said. (ai/mtvn)