27, 2013

NR # 3208

Solon wants proper labeling of milk products
A lawmaker is seeking the passage of a measure that would prohibit the use of the label fresh milk in the packaging and sale of milk products. Rep. Harlin Abayon (1st District, Northern Samar) said the labeling of fresh milk on the packaging of milk products is causing a stir in the country as consumers of milk expressed concern over the safety and quality of milk being sold in the market. Milk cartons in the country bear labels of fresh milk, leading consumers to believe that the contents of the milk they acquire is fresh milk, Abayon said. “It is misleading because milk being sold in groceries, which is mostly imported, has been pasteurized. Milk being sold in the market underwent ultra high temperature treatment (UHT), which allows it to last for several days,” Abayon stressed. Abayon underscored that UHT milk is not the same as fresh milk; therefore labeling milk that went through the process, as fresh milk is misleading and inappropriate. In filing House Bill 231, Abayon cited Article 11, Section 15 of the Constitution, which provides that the State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them. “It is in accordance with this Constitutional mandate that I filed this bill, which aims to prohibit the labeling of fresh milk in packages that contain pasteurized milk. With the proper labeling of milk products, this will not only protect consumers of milk but also the local producers of fresh milk as well,” Abayon said. Under the measure to be known as the “Milk Nutrition and Labeling Act,” producers, importers and traders of pasteurized and processed milk are prohibited from using the label fresh milk in the packaging and sale of milk products. First time offenders shall be penalized with a fine of P10,000, second time violators P50,000 and third time offenders P200,000. (30) lvc

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