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‘Substandard’ flour from Turkey tested for toxins—DoH

Posted on: April 9, 2010

‘Substandard’ flour from Turkey tested for toxins—DoH

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 11:24:00 04/07/2010

Filed Under: Food, Consumer Issues, Health

MANILA, Philippines – Samples of flour imported from Turkey are being analyzed by the Food and Drug Administration amid reports of substandard quality and of being harmful to consumers, the Department of Health said Wednesday.

The Department of Health (DoH) disclosed that samples of flour imported from Turkey are being analyzed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) following media reports that they are substandard and may harm consumers.

It had been reported that the flour from Turkey used by local manufacturers for making noodles and bread contained “mycotoxins, particularly Ochratoxin A and Aflatoxin.”

“The DoH, through the FDA’s Laboratory Services Division, immediately moved to test flour samples for the presence of mycotoxins, particularly Ochratoxin A and Aflatoxin, which are produced by certain poisonous non-edible fungi species,” said Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral.

Six flour samples – five imported from Turkey and one from a local source – being used in Central Visayas and Metro Manila were collected from March 9 to 22 and were tested, said Cabral.

“Initial results revealed that none of the samples had concentrations of mycotoxins above the allowable limit,” said Cabral. “Despite this, the FDA will conduct more tests on the flour samples.”

Representatives from Turkey flour manufacturers arrived in the country on March 26 and assured FDA officials that their flour products are fit for human consumption.

The manufacturers will submit a special certification from the Turkish government that their flour is safe and routinely tested for the presence of toxic substances by the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs before being exported to other countries.

“We would like to assure the public that the DoH is on top of the situation. If and when it is proven that the flour imported from Turkey is unsafe, they can expect us to take immediate and decisive action,” said Cabral.

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