Jun 102013
No politics involved.

This was how a Malacañang official described a decision by a government agency banning 15 food products from Taiwan that were found to contain maleic acid, an unapproved food additive that could potentially harm the kidney.

“Alam mo ang kagandahan dito sa FDA (Food and Drug Administration) there is empirical evidence e.  [They were banned] because of the presence of a certain ingredient. It’s not subject to politics,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said at a press briefing Monday.

Lacierda added that the banning of the food products, which include tapioca pearls and rice noodles, have been subjected to tests.

“It’s subject to a scientific evaluation whether that banned substance exists in those products, and if it is, under our laws, it is banned. It is as simple as that,” Lacierda said.

“It has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to do with the present situation that we’re in with Taiwan. FDA ‘yung nagdesisyon ‘nun e,” he added.

Lacierda said the government continues to look out for the health of all Filipinos.

“Siyempre ang concern po ng gobyerno, ‘yung safety po at ‘yung kaligtasan, ang kalusugan po ng ating mga mamamayan. It has everything to do with the health of the Filipino citizens,” he said.

However, Lacierda also expressed hope that the tensions in Taiwan, which has resulted in cases of discrimination agaisnt OFW’s there, will end soon.

“Siyempre gusto nating ma-lift ‘yung sanctions pero alam ninyo, meron tayong investigation na nangyayari ngayon, NBI and their Taiwanese counterparts, so let’s just let the whole process go through and tutal malapit ng matapos iyon,” Lacierda said.

“Hopefully, maayos po itong situation po with Taiwan,” he added.

The row with Taiwan stemmed from the May 9 killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard personnel in disputed waters off northern Philippines. Philippine authorities said the shooting was prompted after the Taiwanese vessel allegedly tried to ram a Philippine vessel.

Both Philippine and Taiwanese authorities have completed conducting parallel probes on the incident. Patricia Denise Chiu/RSJ, GMA News

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