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PIA Press Release

Davao TF meets for food fortification enforcement

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (4 September) -- Task Force on Food Fortification met last week at the Nutrition office of the City Health Office along Camus Street, Davao City to discuss full implementation of Food Fortification in the city.

Led by City Health Officer and Nutrition action officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, Sergio Haw of Kiwanis Club International, National Nutrition Council regional head Ma. Teresa Ungson and Nutrition chief Venus Millana, the TF on Food Fortification lengthily discussed the slow implementation of food fortification on major products, such as rice, sugar, oil, wheat and others.

While Davao City has successfully implemented the Salt Iodization Law, the enforcement of food fortification "seemingly" has been slow.

Food Fortification was launched in 2000 wherein processed foods should be fortified with iron, iodine and Vitamin A.

Mr. Achilles Rallos of Kiwanis International told the group that it took three years for Davao City to be successful in salt iodization. There is a need for the TF to regularly meet to be able to define existing problems on food fortification of processed foods.

By 2011, the government has mandated concerned government agencies, including the local government units (LGUs), for the full implementation of iron fortification on rice. Even commercialized rice will be included in food fortification.

TF on Food Fortification has urged manufacturers, food processors and accredited retailers to help government in its implementation. The task force also appreciated the iron fortification on rice despite resistance and negative feedbacks from consumers.

Former City Councilor Nenita Orcullo, one of the active members of TF on Food Fortification said there is a high prevalence of malnutrition among children in Davao City and its about time for Davao City to push through with the technology of fortifying rice with iron.

Orcullo suggested that the TF should prepare for a resolution and for its full implementation especially rice, oil and sugar here in Davao City.

Mr. Haw also suggested that the TF will make a representation to the National Food Authority and later to the city council to push for its strict implementation, not the gradual implementation of the government and private sector. (PIA) [top]

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