DSWD submits Ocean’s Best Tuna to FDA for testing

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has announced that it will submit samples of the questioned Ocean’s Best Tuna to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing.

This move comes after several oil spill victims in Oriental Mindoro complained about the smell and taste of the canned tuna, which is a part of the DSWD’s Family Food Packs.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian ordered the creation of a fact-finding board after the DSWD Field Office-Mimaropa confirmed reports of complaints about the quality of Ocean’s Best Tuna.

Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez, who also acts as DSWD spokesperson, said that the FDA will act as a third party to determine whether the canned tuna is safe for the consumption of DSWD beneficiaries.

“The DSWD will wait for the results of the FDA tests as this will determine objectively and scientifically whether the questioned canned tuna flakes are really safe for the consumption of the beneficiaries or not,” Lopez said.

The DSWD’s stockpile of canned tuna is not expired as samples of the canned goods showed that its expiration is in 2025, or two years from the present year. However, the FDA test will also determine if the expiration date stamped on the cans really corresponds to the state and quality of the tuna flakes inside the cans.

Victims of the Mindoro oil spill have taken to social media to voice complaints about canned goods distributed by the DSWD. Despite not being expired, Ocean’s Best Tuna has a foul odor and unpleasant taste, as claimed by numerous social media posts.

“Sayang lang kasi di mo talaga siya makain at nakaka-disappoint lang kasi oo mahirap kami pero di naman deserve makakain ng ganyan,” said Mary Jane Valdez Lusterio.

“Ganyan din bibigay dito samin sa Naujan hindi rin makain, kahit igisa. Tinorta na ganon pa din ang amoy at lasa,” said Jacer Garab Monteza.

“Naamoy ko nga din po ‘yan. Sobrang lansa po talaga nakakaduwal ang amoy,” said Elaiza Valdez.

Despite these complaints, Lopez emphasized that they cannot categorically say if the complaints were due to taste preference or if there is really contamination in the cans of Ocean’s Best Tuna until the FDA completes its report.

MORE: Testing the taste buds and integrity of oil spill victims

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