Davao City gov’t asked to require labeling of food products

DAVAO CITY – The city government should require food establishments to label their products with the ingredients used to guide consumers suffering from diabetes mellitus and other lifestyle-related diseases, a physician said.

In an interview Monday, Dr. Roy B. Ferrer said that if the city has been serious in banning smoking in public places it could also impose on food makers to inform customers about the glycemic content of their products, for instance.

Ferrer, past president of Diabetes Philippines-Davao Chapter said food products should have government-approved stickers that will guide customers.

“This is so that people who have diabetes or people who have problems with their heart and blood pressure can choose and watch what they eat,” he said.

Davao City had a mortality rate of 16% from diabetes mellitus in 2010, he said, adding this should make government step up moves to help people avoid the disease.

The figure came from the City Investment Plan for Health (CIPH), which aims to reduce the existing mortality rate to 14% by 2016.

Ferrer added the city should further promote exercises such as walking and biking.

“There should be more walking lanes and bike lanes so the public can walk to nearby places. We could encourage walking,” he said.

Asked about the city’s existing biking ordinance, Ferrer said he has yet to see it implemented.

“Actually, I don’t see any bike lanes, and there are no signages,” he noted.

He said the city government should observe how other countries use bike lanes.

Ferrer also cited that walking means a reduction in carbon emissions and fuel consumption.

He lauded the city’s anti-smoking campaign, citing the correlation between the habit and diabetes, along with other lifestyles that could lead to the disease. (MindaNews)