MANILA, Philippines - Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon ordered all Bureau of Customs port officials to closely monitor the shipment of five brands of Korean instant noodles.
Biazon also ordered the Korean instant noodles, which were earlier found with a cancer-causing chemical called benzopyrene, be tested by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) before these are released.
"After getting reports from Korea that said noodle brands were recalled by the Korea Food and Drugs Administration for containing the cancer causing substance benzopyrene, I immediately ordered all our port officials to monitor the importations of these noodle brands and to subject them to testing with the FDA prior to release,” Biazon said, in a statement.
The BOC has placed under close monitoring the following instant noodle brands made by South Korea's Nongshim: Spicy Neoguri, Mild Neoguri, Neoguri Cup Noodles, Saewootang Cup Noodles and Seng Seng Udong.
"The BOC cannot actually ban the importation of these Korean noodles as it is the FDA who issues the ban," Biazon said.
"However, we will ensure that these Korean noodle brands are not released without proper clearance from the FDA. If after subjecting them to FDA testing, results will show that they contain the cancer causing benzopyrene substance, we will implement the ban."
This comes days after the South Korean embassy urged the Philippine government to lift the ban on the said instant noodles, saying the Korean FDA has already issued a certification that the noodles are safe for consumption.