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DA Chief: Release brand names of ‘fake’ vinegar with acetic acid

MANILA (CNN Philippines) --- Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol urged the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute and Food and Drugs Administration to release the brand names of vinegar that use synthetic acetic acid.

Piñol said he does not understand why the brand names must be withheld.

“Hindi mo pwede itago yan. Ano ang dahilan mo para itago ang pangalan? Maski sabihin mong safe, okay safe. Pero sabihin mo sa amin kung ano ang mga brands na gumagamit ng synthetic acetic acid,” (You cannot hide it. What’s the reason for doing so? Even if it’s safe, sure, it’s safe. But you have to divulge which brands use synthetic acid), Pinol said Tuesday.

The issue arose after the PNRI stated in a report that 14 of 17 vinegar brands they tested use synthetic acetic acid.

Under the Department of Health’s Administrative Order No. 134, vinegar containing any “artificial matter” such as synthetic acetic acid “shall be deemed to be adulterated and its sale is thereby prohibited.” Piñol also wants the DA to be part of a team to review and revise the 1970 DOH AO.

During an interagency meeting Monday at the DA, biochemist Flerida Cariño of the University of the Philippines said there is no proof that synthetic acetic acid is harmful to one’s health.

But PNRI clarified its study is limited to determining whether the acetic acid is fermented or synthetic, and did not include whether those synthetic acetic acid have residues that may be carcinogenic.

The FDA said it will review and verify the study of the PNRI before making the necessary actions.

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