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Philippines : Stricter RBATF to monitor ASIN Law compliance in R1, CAR.

A much stricter Regional Bantay ASIN Task Forces (RBATF) will patrol all market places in Region I and Cordillera Administrative Region(CAR) and monitor all salt producers in Ilocos to ensure adequate iodine content in salt. This was agreed during the RBATF joint meeting of CAR and Region I on November 8 and 9 at the Gordion Hotel here to assess implementation and revitalize the ASIN (An Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide) Law.

The Department of Health has distributed each province iodine checker machine alongside with rapid testing kit to measure iodine in salt sold in the market. ASIN Law or Republic Act No. 8172 was signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos in 1995 to promote the use of iodized salt to contribute to the elimination of micronutrient malnutrition in the country, particularly iodine deficiency disorders. It also requires all salt producers and manufacturers to iodize the salt that they produce, manufacture and distribute.

Dr. Amelia Dumaoang of DOH Region 1 bared that many areas in Northern Luzon and other parts of the country have still high risk in Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) like goiter and mental retardation. Low iodine consumption is proven to reduce a persons IQ to 13.5 points, she said. She reiterated that these severe conditions and genetic disorders can be prevented by adequate iodine intake in seafood. But a cheaper but healthier means of deterrence is iodine consumption in salt, she explained.

Kendall A. Gatan of National Nutrition Council Region I said that iodized salt can also prevent congenital anomalies like deaf-mutism, squint, poor growth and reproductive failure that may lead to stillbirth and miscarriage. Aside from stricter monitoring, another challenge is letting the public know proper iodized salt storage. Let us advise consumers to refrain from storing salt in transparent containers. We should tell them to store salt in pots and thick jars because exposure to sunlight and other elements may wane its iodine content. Discourage them also in buying sack or bulk of salt because iodine expires in a year, Gatan said. Vigan City Mayor Juan Carlo S. Medina welcomed the delegates on said event and shared some programs of his local government especially on nutrition.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Nov 16, 2016
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