November 2, 2017
Malacanang said on Thursday that it was unfortunate that some 9,000 bunches of packaged Philippine bananas would have to be recalled due to alleged tampering.
"If I'm not mistaken, the Philippines is probably the biggest supplier of bananas to Japan. It's unfortunate that this shipment, this incident happened," said Acting Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing.
Dole Japan Inc. has decided to recall some of its banana products after it found a wire approximately three centimeters long in a banana during a voluntary inspection at its facility in Kawasaki City recently.
A consumer from Aichi Prefecture also reportedly complained about a piece of wire when eating a banana.
While the incident was unfortunate, Roque discounted the possibility this would affect Philippine exports of banana to Japan.
"It’s not too big, the shipment is not too big. I don’t think it will affect our current status as the biggest, if not one of the biggest suppliers of the food product into Japan. I think it was just an accident," he said.
He also noted that the issue was not about phytosanitary.
"What is dangerous here is when countries impose non-tariff barriers, they impose what is known as phytosanitary. For example, they said, there's a threat to health and some countries are notorious for barring agricultural products on this basis," he said.
"But that was not the reason invoked by Japan. So, I don't think there's too much of a reason to worry," Roque added.
Dole Japan apologized for "causing significant inconvenience and worry" due to the incident. Celerina Monte/DMS
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