A RESOLUTION requesting Mayor Evelio Leonardia to direct the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) and City Health Office (CHO) to confiscate and stop the use of sodium cyclamate or “magic sugar” was passed Wednesday.

The proposed resolution was authored by councilor Catalino Alisbo, chair of the City Council committee on human rights, who noted that the illegal use of magic sugar as a sweetener substitute for cold drinks sold by ambulant vendors in the city is now rampant even in the provinces of Bulacan, Bicol, Batangas, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Cebu, Sorsogon and Zamboanga City.

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Alisbo said the CHO should send sanitary inspectors to conduct random checks on drinks sold by ambulant vendors.

He said sodium cyclamate is being distributed under the Gold Bell brand manufactured in Indonesia and smuggled into the Philippines.

Alisbo said the sugar has been sold among vendors at a low price per pack, enough to sweeten a gallon of cold drinks as against three kilos of refined sugar at P45 per kilo.

He noted that the chemical, a known carcinogen, has been banned in the country since 1970.

The councilor said the Bacolod City Police and the sanitary inspectors have been cautioned not to use “gestapo-like” seizures of the cold drinks they are selling and emptied containers even without proof that they are using magic sugar, “otherwise, their small capital will go to waste due to the barbaric acts of these policeman or sanitary inspectors.” (MAP)