In view of the on-going issue involving mass hospitalization and deaths allegedly due to methanol poisoning after drinking distilled coconut sap, locally known as “lambanog”, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hereby warns the public on the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages that have not undergone the safety evaluation of this agency.
Current investigation is being done with the assistance of the Department of Health- Epidemiology Bureau, through its Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, and the concerned Local Government Units. The FDA shall conduct laboratory testing to confirm whether the implicated products contain a high level of the substance ‘methanol’. Ingestion of product with an elevated amount of methanol poses serious adverse effects such as blindness, permanent neurologic dysfunction, and even death.
The public is hereby advised to exercise extreme caution in purchasing and consuming products such as alcoholic beverages that do not have proper labels and are not registered with the FDA. Retail outlets, and other dealers of alcoholic beverages, are warned against the sale of unregistered products which is a violation of the FDA Act of 2009 and the Food Safety Act of 2013.
All Local Government Units and Law Enforcement Agencies are requested to ensure that these products are not sold or made available in their localities or areas of jurisdiction.
For more information and inquiries, please e-mail us at [email protected] or call us at FDA Action Center hotline (02) 821-1162, or the Center for Food Regulation & Research at (02) 857-1900. To report the sale or distribution of any product that is not registered with the FDA, kindly email us via [email protected].
Dissemination of the information to all concerned is requested.
Attachment:->FDA Advisory No.2019-534