FDA-11 warns public vs buying unregistered coffee brand

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/26 October) — The Food and Drug Administration in Region 11 on Monday warned consumers not to buy Sehat Badan coffee that is believed to have entered the local market through other backdoor regions in Mindanao.

FDA-Davao supervisor Deborah S. Legaspi said during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City the agency started observing last year the presence of this unregistered coffee being sold on sidewalks and other outlets.

The agency has so far confiscated around 1,000 boxes of Sehat Badan coffee, following an advisory from the FDA national office after finding out that it contained paracetamol, ibuprofen, steroid, and diclofenac sodium.

She believed these products easily reached the city because it is accessible by land.

She said consumers of this coffee might find relief from illnesses asthma, hypertension, joint pains and arthritis, after drinking the coffee because of its drug contents. But in truth it has no health benefits, she said.

“In our seminar, we always talk about this coffee. It is not just our concern but also of everybody,” she added.

Legaspi warned consuming Sehat Badan coffee might result in a condition called “moon face” often associated with steroid treatment or death due to organ failure.

There have been no reports of intoxication due to the product in Davao Region but the agency reported many cases in Manila, she said.

In its public health warning advisory, the FDA said the coffee claimed to be an herbal drink that “promotes and enhances general well-being and treat various diseases such as asthma, urinary stones, allergy, impotence, rheumatism, toothache,” but such claims is not approved by the FDA.

The coffee has no English translation on its packing, violating FDA’s Administrative Order 88-B, or the rules and regulations governing the “labeling of prepackaged food products distributed in the Philippines.”

The order requires imported food products with labels in foreign language to also carry the corresponding English translation, “otherwise such products shall not be permitted for local distribution.”

“Products marketed as food supplement without English translation pose harm to the consumers since consumers will have no better understanding of the true nature of the health product they purchased.

“These product definitely did not pass the FDA standard of safety and quality, therefore, public health is at stake,” the advisory added. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)