Industrial dye found in food in Cebu - FDA

By Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Oct 22 2013 01:08 PM | Updated as of Oct 23 2013 04:16 AM

MANILA - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found industrial-grade coloring dye in food sold in markets in Central Visayas.

In an advisory obtained by ABS-CBNnews.com, FDA Acting Director General Kenneth Hartigan-Go said out of the 34 products so far collected, three turned out positive for Rhodamine B.

Rhodamine B is a fluorescent dye used as a tracer in water and air flow studies, and in molecular and cell biology studies. It presents as a red to violet powder. It is believed to be carcinogenic.

The products found positive for Rhodamine B are icing candy coming from the Cebu Crown Grocery, red gulaman coming from the Carbon Public Market in Cebu, and shrimp paste labeled only as 7C’s coming from Robinson’s Grocery in Talisay, Cebu.

The FDA tested a total of 34 food products. The samples came from ambulant vendors, public markets, groceries and supermarkets in the National Capital Region and Region VII.

Besides the three found to be positive for Rhodamine B, five need further confirmatory tests for the non-permissible colorant Sudan.

The FDA said Sudan dyes are used in shoe and floor polish, solvents, oils, waxes and petrol.

Hartigan-Go said the food processors of the three products found with Rhodamine violated the FDA Act of 2009 and the Consumer Act of the Philippines on adulteration of processed food.

He said the Centers for Health Development and LGUs are requested to help in confiscating or recalling the products as well as close the establishments.

"The FDA Act of 2009 requires all locally manufactured and imported processed food products to be registered with the FDA. This requirement is in addition to the permits issued by the local government units and other government agencies,” he said.

He advised consumers to buy processed food products from legitimate establishments. “Please read labels. Look for FDA registration numbers. Ingredients should be indicated. Look for a consumer hotline. Check expiry dates.”

He also asked the public to report suspect food products to the FDA.