FORMER Negros Occidental governor Rafael Coscolluela said the public should not only boycott softdrinks, but all products containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Sugar leaders in the province the other day launched a call to boycott products of Pepsi-Cola, which they said, is the second biggest importer of HFCS in the Philippines next to rival Coca-Cola.
Coscolluela, who is also a Capitol consultant, said the campaign should not only focus on the two beverage giants, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. and Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines.
“It shouldn't be against Coke and Pepsi only. Consumers should avoid all products that use HFCS,” he said.
“If they can't do it for love of the industry and the farmers, then it should be for their sake because HFCS is worse for our health and well-being,” he added.
Sugar leaders claimed the unabated entry of HFCS in the country have caused the prices of sugar to go down.
Early this year, industry leaders have started their campaign to boycott Coke, as they demanded the beverage company to use local sugar instead of the alternative sweetener.
They noted that Coca-Cola has started to buy more local sugar and has been gradually withdrawing its HFCS imports.
Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines had earlier sought the nullification of the sugar order regulating the importation of HFCS, but they later withdrew the case.
The company is also facing an outright smuggling complaint following its alleged importation of HFCS after the March 10 effectivity of the sugar order without clearance from the Sugar Regulatory Administration.
Local government units and various food establishments in the province have joined the campaign to boycott Coke.
Manuel Lamata, president of United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines, said the other day they first targeted Coke before Pepsi as it is hard to take on two giants at the same time.
He said they are hoping that the management of Pepsi will meet them, as they hoped the beverage company will buy more local sugar.
Pepsi has yet to issue a statement on the issue.