House approves “Food Safety Act of 2012”

THE House of Representatives has approved on third reading a bill strengthening the food safety regulatory system in the country to protect consumer health and facilitate market access of local foods and food products.

House Bill 6474 creates the Food Safety Regulation Coordinating Board to be chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), which is mandated to establish policies and procedures for coordination of regulatory systems as implemented by the DA, Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The bill was sponsored until plenary approval by the House Committee on Health chaired by Rep. Alfredo Marañon III (2nd District, Negros Occidental). It substituted House Bill 3428 authored by Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) and Maximo Rodriguez (Party-list, Abante Mindanao), House Bill 3972 authored by Rep. Angelo Palmones (Party-list, Agham) and House Bill 4417 authored by Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza (4th District, Batangas).

Rodriguez said the measure aims to protect the public from food-borne and water-borne illnesses and unsanitary, unwholesome, misbranded or adulterated foods.

“The measure will enhance industry and consumer confidence in the food regulatory system and contribute to economic growth and development by promoting fair trade practices and by sound regulation
of domestic and international trade,” Rodriguez said.

Palmones said the creation of the Board will establish policies and procedures for coordination of regulatory systems as implemented by the DA, DOH and DILG and coordinate crisis management efforts during incidents involving food safety.

“The Board lays down the principles of food safety which include, but are not limited to, the determination of whether or not food is unsafe for human consumption; determination of whether or not food is injurious to health and determination of whether or not food is unsafe for human consumption,” Palmones said.

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