BFAR-Davao warns vs eating ‘butete’

BFAR-Davao warns vs eating ‘butete’
Mindanao OneNews (left), Canva (right)

THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Davao Region (Bfar-Davao) has raised a stern warning on preparing and eating pufferfish, locally known as “Butete”, due to its toxins which can lead to immediate death.

This, after five members of a family in Barangay Astorga, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur were taken to the provincial hospital on May 20 for experiencing fatigue, dizziness, and vomiting after eating pufferfish for dinner.

Meanwhile, all of their pets including chicken have died after they were fed with the leftovers.

In a statement, Bfar-Davao is alerting the public about the risks of consuming pufferfish (Family Tetraodontidae), commonly known as 'butete as numerous pufferfish species contain a potent neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin (TTX), which can have severe health consequences, including death.

In compliance with Section 67 of Republic Act No. 8550, as amended by Republic Act 10654, the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, which also requires the monitoring and regulation of fish and fishery/aquatic resource movement or trade, and Article 10 of Republic Act (RA) No. 7394, the 1992 Consumer Act of the Philippines, which provides for the banning or prohibition of the sale or distribution in the market of any injurious, unsafe, and dangerous products, including but not limited to fishery goods or commodities, the Department of Agriculture, through BFAR, has issued Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) No. 249, s. 2014, which states, "Pufferfish that has been processed and sold raw or fresh is prohibited."

The selling and distribution of pufferfish as food, whether in its raw, fresh, or processed form, is expressly forbidden by this order. 

If found selling or distributing pufferfish in any form, violators will be fined between P10,000.00 and P100,000 and imprisoned for a minimum of two months and a maximum of one year. DEF

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