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Bill eyes health warning for products with high sodium content

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TWO LAWMAKERS have filed a bill requiring a health warning for food products with high sodium content.

Ako Bicol Partylist Representatives Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr. and Elizaldy S. Co filed House Bill 1511, which mandates the Department of Health to require food producers and manufacturers to indicate whether their products contain high amounts of sodium or more than the recommended daily allowance set by the Bureau of Food and Drugs.

“The warning label shall indicate that the processed food or food product contains a high amount of sodium and shall be printed in a part of the packaging where it is likely to obscure or cover,” the bill read.

“High sodium intake has been a leading cause of deaths due to cardiovascular and kidney diseases… According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, 89 to 90 percent of adults aged 19 and older eat too much sodium from the previous year,” the bill’s explanatory note stated.

According to the World Health Organization, the recommended daily intake of sodium for adults is less than five grams or just under a teaspoon a day.

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Violators of the measure could be denied registration of their products; ordered a recall of their products; and a fine of P300,000 up to P1 million, with the cancellation of the registration of their products for the third offense. — V.A.C. Ferreras

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