DSWD to send samples of questioned canned tuna to FDA for testing

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Monday said it will submit samples of the questioned Ocean’s Best Tuna products to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine whether these are safe for consumption. A fact-finding board created upon the directive of DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian made the recommendation to submit the samples to FDA after several beneficiaries in Oriental Mindoro complained about the quality of the Ocean’s Best Tuna. Gatchalian ordered an investigation after the DSWD Field Office (FO) in Region 4B or Mimaropa on May 5 verified complaints about the quality of the canned tuna, one of the food items included in the family food packs (FFPs) for DSWD beneficiaries. The complaints range from having ‘unacceptable and unusual taste’ to being ‘unpalatable’ and ‘smells like rotten eggs,’ according to FO-Mimaropa report. The fact-finding body informed the representatives of the two suppliers that the DSWD will write FDA a letter and will send them samples of the canned tuna flakes taken from the pre-positioned FFPs in Calapan City and the municipalities of Naujan, Bulalacao and Roxas. ‘The DSWD will wait for the results of the FDA tests as this will determine objectively and scientifically whether the questioned canned tuna flakes are really safe for the consumption of the beneficiaries or not,’ DSWD spokesperson Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez said. ‘Until we have the full report of the FDA, we cannot categorically say if the complaints were due to taste preference or there is really contamination in the cans of Ocean’s Best Tuna,’ he added. During the fact-finding meeting, it was learned that the DSWD’s stockpile of canned tuna were not expired as samples showed expiration in 2025. Lopez said the FDA test will also determine if the expiration date stamped on the cans really corresponds to the state and quality of the tuna flakes inside cans. ‘In the event that the FDA test result is adverse to Ocean’s Best Tuna, the Department has a wide range of options that include the replacement of the whole lot by the suppliers and other sanctions such as withholding of payment and even blacklisting from the list of accredited suppliers,’ Lopez said

Source: Philippines News Agency