Sugar regulatory body told: Probe HFCS importation-A A +A
Thursday, February 28, 2013
THE National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NFSP) urged Wednesday the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to investigate the importation of high fructose corn syrup from China that was reportedly sourced from genetically-modified corn.
"Our federation received information that 11,000 metric tons of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) were imported into the country from China since September 2012 to January of the current year. What is more alarming is that the HFCS was reportedly sourced from genetically modified corn," said NFSP president Enrique Rojas in his letter addressed to SRA administrator Ma. Regina B. Martin.
Rojas asked SRA to probe what companies made the importation and in what products the HFCS was used.
"It is already distressing enough that some companies continue to import HFCS, thereby reducing demand for sugar and consequently exerting downward pressure on domestic sugar prices to the detriment of our sugarcane farmers," he said.
Worse, the imported HFCS, which was reportedly produced from genetically-modified corn, poses a health hazard to unsuspecting consumers who eat or drink these products which are mixed with HFCS from genetically modified corn, Rojas stressed.
The NFSP president recalled that Negros Occidental, through Provincial Ordinance 07, Series of 2007 bans the entry of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in the province because of the health hazards that GMOs pose.
He said that last April 2009, the province seized P18-million worth of genetically-modified corn seeds at Bredco Port and shipped them out of Negros Occidental to protect Negrenses from the dangers of GMOs.
"For the sake of the health of our consumers and the welfare of our sugarcane farmers, we urge SRA to immediately investigate this matter," Rojas said.
Martin, for his part, said that SRA is "monitoring the entry of these HFCS and has made necessary proposals to the Department of Agriculture since this is not sugar, but corn, to see how these can be addressed."
"We have no evidence that these are GMOs so we cannot jump to this conclusion," Martin said.
"We are encouraging the users of HFCS to shift to our domestic sugar instead, since prices have been quite stable and affordable to the market. Let's patronize Philippine sugar. Pinoy ba ang sugar mo?" he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 28, 2013.