FDA: bottled water “high risk food product”

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… `Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything’…” (Genesis 9:3, the Holy Bible).

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FDA: BOTTLED WATER “HIGH RISK FOOD PRODUCT”: Here’s a totally scary information coming from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) of the Philippine Department of Health: bottled water, which is the source of drinking water for millions and millions of Filipinos today, is classified by the FDA as unsafe because it is a “high risk food product”.

In FDA Circular No. 2016-014 which is dated August 12, 2016, bottled water, along with many other food items, are determined by the government to contain harmful chemicals and pathogenic microorganisms that support the formation of toxins or the grown of pathogenic microorganisms (please see http://thestandard.com.ph/dailypdf/2016-08-18).

What are pathogenic microorganisms? According to Global Food Safety Resource, in its website www.globalfoodsafetyresource.com (http://globalfoodsafetyresource.com/food-science/pathogenic-organisms), they are organisms “capable of causing disease in its host. A human pathogen is capable of causing illness in humans. Common examples of pathogenic organisms include specific strains of bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli, and viruses such as Cryptosporidium…”

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OTHER FOOD ITEMS “CAPABLE OF CAUSING SICKNESS”: But that is not the only scary information FDA dished out in its Circular No. 2016-014 dated August 12, 2016. It also classified many other food items and drinks as high risk food products and are therefore unsafe. By way of public service, I am listing these food items and drinks here.

Under the heading “dairy products and analogues: 1. Milk and dairy based drinks. A. Milk (plain) and buttermilk (plain). B. Dairy based drinks, flavored and/or fermented (e.g. chocolate milk, cocoa, eggnog, drinking yoghurt, whey based drinks). 1. Fermented and renneted milk products (plain), excluding dairy based drinks.

“3. Cream (plain) and cream analogues. A. Pasteurized cream (plain). B. Sterilized and UHT creams, whipping and whipped creams, and reduced fat creams (plain). C. Clotted cream (plain). D. Cream analogues.”

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WHAT IS FDA DOING ABOUT “HIGH RISK FOOD PRODUCTS”? In our succeeding columns, we will list down the other food products and drinks that the FDA classified as “high risk food products”. The people ought to know that there is such a classification made by the agency of government in charge of looking after the people’s welfare when it comes to food and drinks they eat and imbibe.

My only concern here is this: if the FDA determined that these food products and drinks are “high risk food products”, what is it doing to either prevent their sale to Filipinos, or to make sure that our health is fully safeguarded from the debilitating effects of these food items?

The incomprehensible thing for me here is that FDA Circular No. 2016-014 is not even concerned about addressing the health risks posed by the food and drinks it classified as “high risk”. That circular is focused merely on a system of registration of these products by the companies that make them, as if to say, it is okay to make such dangerous food and drinks as long as they are registered with FDA. Wow!

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