By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Nancy Binay is now pushing for the passage of a measure that would mandate the government to regulate pet food.
Binay said once Senate Bill No. 2068, the proposed “Act Informing the Public About Additives in Pet Food,” which requires labeling of pet food products is passed into law, existing laws on food safety in the country would no longer be limited to only those being consumed by humans.
“Pet food is composed of basic nutritional components as well as extra ingredients and additives,” Binay said in the explanatory note of the bill.
“The function of additives ranges from preserving the nutritional value of food and its freshness to improving its taste, appearance, and smell,” the senator said.
The bill requires the labeling of pet food products, specifying in the packaging all information on the ingredients and additives especially if such additive is a proven carcinogen or proven to cause detrimental side effects based on standards to be set by the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD).
The senator further noted that preservatives in commercial pet food, if it reaches dangerous levels, could cause allergies, skin problems, gastrointestinal problems and may damage major organs like the kidney, liver, and brain.
“Food safety and awareness is essential in order to keep animals safe from illnesses,” she said.
Binay said the proposed bill seeks to promote awareness and information for the public regarding the additives in the pet food that they give their pets and possible hazards that they may cause.
The proposed law is also expected to complement Republic Act No. 8485, otherwise known as The Animal Welfare Act of 1998.
Republic Act No. 8485 was aimed at protecting and promoting the welfare of all animals in the Philippines by supervising and regulating the establishment and operations of all facilities utilized for breeding, maintaining, keeping, treating or training of all animals either as objects of trade or as household pets.
On the other hand, the Food Safety Act of 2013, the existing landmark legislation that ensures food safety for humans, from the farm to the dinner table, became effective only three years ago.