Press Release
January 12, 2019

Binay seeks to promote awareness of teratogen

A bill seeking to promote awareness and information on teratogen, a substance that may cause physical or functional defect in fetuses, has recently been filed in the Senate.

Senator Nancy Binay, author of Senate Bill No. 2079 otherwise known as the Act Regulating Teratogens, said the chance of a baby to be born with birth defects increases when its mother is exposed to teratogens or when it is consumed either as a prescribed medication, alcohol, cocaine, among others.

According to a study on the occurrence of birth defects at the Philippine General Hospital conducted by health researchers, congenital anomalies are in the top 10 causes of infant and child mortality for the past six decades.

The study showed that the top five defects among infants are multiple congenital anomalies, down syndrome, defects of the large intestine, congenital deformities of the feet and other malformations of the intestine.

These birth defects, according to the study, are contributory to the infant and child morbidity in the country.

Binay said that once the bill would be passed into law all consumer products containing a known teratogen identified by the Department of Health would include a clear, conspicuous and easily readable label on its packaging.

"The product shall contain a warning label informing the public that it contains a teratogen, a substance known to cause birth defects and other reproductive hazards," Binay said.

She said the DOH, in coordination with other concerned agencies, shall also be required to come up with a list of all known and proven teratogens and to inform the public of their presence in products or the environment.

Under the bill, the DOH could impose a fine of not more than P10,000 for each day a permit holder remains in violation of the act. Any person who violated the act shall also be slapped with penalties or fines to be determined by the DOH.

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