Rice with ‘bukbok’ safe to eat after fumigation? Solon finds NFA’s claim ‘irresponsible’
The chairperson of the House of Representatives committee on agriculture and food on Monday labeled as “irresponsible” the National Food Authority’s (NFA) claim that the sacks of rice infested with rice weevil (bukbok) are still safe for consumption after fumigation.
“Yes, that’s irresponsible statement,” Anac-IP Rep. Jose Panganiban, Jr. said in a briefing, adding that NFA’s statement was “unacceptable.”
Panganiban said the panel has already asked NFA to explain their claim.
“We have already written a letter to NFA na i-clear nila sa Committee bakit nila sinasabi na ganun and hindi lang ‘yun, pati sa Department of Agriculture (DA),” he said.
He continued: “DA kasi ang me jurisdiction sa inspection sa pagpasok ng lahat na iyan. Bago kasi lumabas pa ang kargamento sa Custom, dapat me certification ang DA fit for human consumption.”
On Sunday, NFA Spokesperson Rex Estoperez said the over 100,000 sacks of imported rice from Thailand infested with rice weevils which they had discovered at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone are still safe to eat.
He even said NFA officials including its Administrator Jason Aquino would be the first eat it to assure the public of its quality.
Panganiban said he also filed a resolution to look into the NFA’s claim, as well as the reported rice shortage in Zamboanga City. /vvp
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