MANILA — A lawmaker is pushing for the inclusion of information on the fat and cholesterol content of foods to the labeling requirements for consumer products as per Republic Act 7394 or the “Consumer Act of the Philippines.”
Rep. Delphine Gan Lee (Party List, AGRI) filed House Bill 5253 to provide consumers with more information on the fat and cholesterol content of foods through improved labeling.
Lee said international and local medical research have shown that a high dietary intake of saturated fat can lead to increased serum cholesterol levels, which can lead to Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), a killer disease in the Philippines and the number one killer disease in America.
“To decrease the risk of acquiring the disease, private and public studies by experts in the fields of medicine and nutrition unanimously support the conclusion that people should know how much fat, particularly saturated fat, they consume and should guard against too much consumption of fat,” Lee said.
Under the measure, compulsory labeling and fair packaging shall be enforced to enable the consumers to obtain accurate information as to the nature, quality and quantity of the contents of consumer products.
The measure, also known as the “Low Cholesterol Consumer Education Act 2014,” will facilitate the consumers’ comparison of the value of each product.
The Secretary of Health shall establish and publish a standard for the recommended maximum daily levels of total fat, total saturated fat, and cholesterol in total dietary intake, expressed as a percentage of calories from fat and total grams of fat.
The Secretary of Health shall also establish and public relevant and appropriate standards for determining service sizes of foods for purposes of enabling consumers to make comparisons of fat content contained in similar or like products.
Likewise, the measure requires the Department of Health (DOH) to impose an additional labeling requirement for food, which specifically shows, “Saturated Fat Content”, and “Cholesterol Content.”
Any person, either as principal or agent, engaged in the labeling or packaging of any food consumer product, to display or distribute or to cause to be displayed or distributed in commerce, any food consumer product whose label does not conform to the requirement of the proposed Act is unlawful.
Violators shall be fined P20,000 or maximum imprisonment of four years, or both, at the discretion of the court.