National Food Fortification Day

Manila Bulletin, November 6, 2009 | Go to article overview

National Food Fortification Day


National Food Fortification Day is observed annually on November 7, pursuant to Executive Order 382, which recognizes the persistence of micronutrient deficiencies as a public health problem that has affected a significant proportion of the population, resulting in adverse physical, mental, social, and economic consequences to individuals, communities, and country.The Philippine Food Fortification Act of 2000 (Republic Act 8976) defines fortification as the addition of nutrients to processed foods or food products widely consumed by at-risk groups at levels above the natural state.The key agencies in the program are the Department of Health (DoH), responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the law; the National Nutrition Council that serves as the policy-making body, particularly relative to determining what food vehicles should be fortified and with what nutrients; the Department of Trade and Industry, which assists manufacturers in upgrading their technologies by providing financial assistance and other non-monetary assistance; the Department of Science and Technology, which helps in developing and implementing comprehensive programs for the acquisition, design, and manufacture of machines and technologies and their transfer to manufacturers; and the Land Bank of the Philippines and Livelihood Corporation that assist manufacturers by providing preferential loans at preferential rates.Republic Act 8976 has two components: Voluntary food fortification through which the DoH encourages manufacturers to fortify their processed foods and food products based on rules and regulations DoH prescribes through the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD); and the mandatory fortification of staple foods based on the prescribed standards of the DoH.

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