Regulatory laws, licenses and permits on food safety
Food nourishes our bodies , and the food we eat is central to our health.
Thus, it it is imperative that the food we take in is safe and clean starting from those we eat directly and the by-products consumed by animals that we eventually eat specifically the feeds and feed products and the veterinary drugs sold on the market.
Regulatory and safety laws have been enacted to ensure the legitimate sale of these products. However, the efficient and effective implementation of these laws specially those pertaining to permits, licenses and accreditation depends mostly on the dissemination and understanding by the concerned stakeholders who must be aware of these laws to faithfully comply.
Among these laws are Republic Act 1556 and RA 3720. RA 1556 or an Act to Regulate and Control the Manufacture, Importation, Labelling, Advertising and Sale of Livestock and Poultry Feeds provides that any person, partnership, firm, corporation or association desiring to engage in the manufacture, importation, sale or distribution of feeds and feeding stuff shall first be registered with the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).
It shall be unlawful for persons to engage in these business without first being registered and any person or persons who will unlawfully use a registration number, fraudulently lessen or adulterate the feeding value of any feed or feeding stuff or tamper with packaged feeds for fraudulent purposes or use certificates of any official analyst, wilfully obstruct, hinder or resist or in any other way oppose an inspector in the execution of his or her duties, make unauthorized disposition of feeds or violate any provision of this Act shall be punished by a fine of not less than P1,000.00 nor more than P5,000.00 or by imprisonment of not more than one year and one day or both at the discretion of the court.
RA 3720 or the “Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act” created the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which shall administer and enforce the laws pertaining thereto. The FDA shall ensure safe and good quality supply of food, drug and cosmetics and regulate the production, sale and traffic of the same to protect the health of the people. In the implementation of such policy, the FDA shall establish standards and quality measures for food, drug and cosmetics and adopt measures to ensure their purity and safety.
It shall also issue certificates of compliance with technical requirements to serve as basis for the issuance of licenses and to spot-check for compliance with regulations regarding the operation of food, drug and cosmetic manufacturers and establishments. Any person who violates any provisions of this law shall upon conviction be subject to imprisonment of not less than 6 months and one day but not more than 5 years or a fine of not less than P1,000 or both imprisonment or fine at the discretion of the Court.
Another is Administrative Order (AO) No. 8 of 2004 that amended AO No. 3 of 19997 on the Revised Guidelines on the Registration and Licensing of Livestock, Poultry and By-Products Handlers and Livestock Transport Carriers.
The purpose is to properly register and license all livestock, poultry and its by-products handlers and accreditation of livestock transport vehicles and vessels in the Philippines with the aim of maintaining disease free areas and achieving safe, clean and orderly handling of commodities through various stages of marketing and distribution channels.
This AO shall be applicable to any person or business entity engaged in the business of inter-provincial or regional handling and distribution of livestock, poultry and its by-products or to any carrier whether common or private that are engaged in handling or transporting livestock, poultry and its by-products.
All livestock, poultry and by-products handlers and accreditation of all carriers are classified as 1) Livestock/Poultry and its by-products handlers license that include livestock dealers, poultry dealers, milk dealers, egg dealers, hide dealers, skin dealers, manure and dung dealers and game fowl dealers, 2) Land transport carriers, 3) Water Transport Carriers and 4) Air Transport Carriers.**JDP/DBC- PIA CAR, Ifugao