Sugar Fortification Law Amendment Sought

Article excerpt

Byline: MELODY M. AGUIBA

Sugar-producing Negros Occidental is pushing for an amendment on the Food Fortification Law of 2000 (FFL) to press for sugars exemption from Vitamin A fortification which is "technically impossible."

Industry officials said Negros Occidental Rep. Tranquilino Carmona is filing an amendment to the FFL.

"I think its an amendment to the law filed by Congressman Carmona of the first district of Negros Occidental. Theyre asking for an amendment because not all sugar types can be fortified. Its really a production problem," the official said.

Indicating there may not have been an adequate consultation made on the FFL when it was passed four years ago, the official said the law has a gap in sugars Vitamin A fortification since it is difficult to determine the volume of refined sugar that must be fortified.

In the first place, the major market for refined sugar the softdrinks industry-refuses sugars Vitamin A fortification as this will alter the taste of softdrinks.

"The law says that it is refined sugar that must be fortified. But the market for refined sugar, which is (mostly) for softdrinks, need not be fortified. When youre refining raw sugar, you dont know wholl buy the product. So how much are you supposed to fortify?" the official said.

An official of sugar miller Central Azucarera Don Pedro (CADP) said softdrinks manufacturers make up a sizable 60 percent of CADPs market for refined sugar, and all these companies oppose sugar fortification.

Authorities have found the FFL illogical, perceiving it will not really benefit the poor. …