Press Release
September 5, 2015


SEN. Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, is poised to investigate health hazards in smuggled food items being sold by local retailers.

"Not having gone through proper quarantine examinations and food safety inspections, smuggled agricultural food products pose a serious threat to public health," Guingona said.

Guingona informed that there are suspicions that smuggled vegetables such as carrots and broccoli contain high levels of formaldehyde or formalin to make them appear fresh.

Formaldehyde is a colorless chemical used in building materials, glues, and preserving cadavers in mortuaries and medical laboratories. Its watered-down variant is called formalin. Public health institutions have classified the substance as a human carcinogen.

Cancer is one of the top causes of death among Filipinos.

According to Guingona, the planned investigation in aid of legislation is propelled by possible violations or weaknesses of the Food Safety Act of 2013, which was enacted to maintain a "farm-to-fork" safety regulatory system that ensures a high level of food safety, promotes fair trade, and advances the global competitiveness of Philippine foods and food products.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, Guingona is still in the thick of investigating the headline hugging PhilHealth insurance fraud. He has also filed Organ Donation Act of 2015 (Senate Bill 2840), which provides the overall direction and system of implementation of organ donation and transplantation in the country.

News Latest News Feed