MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued a public advisory asking the public to refrain from buying vinegar brands that have been found to contain synthetic acetic acid.
The five brands that had been identified by the Food and Drug Administration were substandard and should not be sold in the market, according to the DTI.
“Kung hindi siya truthful, hindi niya nilagay lahat kung ano ‘yung mga ingredients na nandoon, o kung may ingredient na hindi totoo na nakalagay doon, may criminal liability yan under the consumer act,” Trade undersecretary Ruth Castelo said.
In an advisory on Tuesday, the FDA said that out of the 39 vinegar brands it tested, samples from these five were found with synthetic acetic acid through testing of Permanganate Oxidation Number (PON):
- Surebuy Cane Vinegar (Best Before Date: 26 03 21)
- Tentay Pinoy Style Vinegar (Best Before Date: 03 18 21)
- Tentay Premium Vinegar (Batch/Lot No. TV SEP0718AC)
- Tentay Vinegar ‘Sukang Tunay Asim’ (Expiry Date 06 06 20)
- Chef’s Flavor Vinegar (Expiry Date 01APR21)
The FDA clarified that these brands were deemed substandard but do not pose any health risk to consumers.
Rustan’s Supermarket said it already recalled its house brand Surebuy Cane Vinegar after they have read the advisory.
Tentay Food Sauces, Inc., the maker of three variants included in the list, said it is coordinating with the FDA to clarify the issue.
GMA News is still trying to get comments from the manufacturer of Chef’s Flavor Vinegar.
Meanwhile, consumer group Laban Konsyumer said it is not contented with the list that was released by the FDA because the 15 brands that were found with synthetic acetic acid in a separate test conducted by the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) were not identified.
The PNRI previously refused to disclose the vinegar brands it tested because they were supposedly prohibited by the law to identify any product brands.
“I-release nila sa mga consumers kung ano ‘yung mga brands na ‘yun. Kung bawal ‘yung limang brands na bawal ibenta sa publiko, ganun din dapat ‘yung mga brands na tinest ng PNRI na may synthetic acetic acid. Pantay lang sila na adulterated o substandard,” said Atty. Vic Dimagiba, president of Laban Konsyumer
Meanwhile, the FDA said that the test it conducted was different from that used by the PNRI.
It added that the PNRI may release the list of the said 15 vinegar variants, for public information.
The FDA will continue to subject to tests other brands of vinegar and will come up with weekly updates if more brands are found to have synthetic acetic acid. (GMA News)