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Millers seek probe of flour dumping


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 07:35:00 03/22/2010

Filed Under: Soft Commodities

MANILA, Philippines?Local flour millers have asked the government to investigate the dumping of cheap flour from Turkey, some of which they claimed had been ?technically smuggled? into the country.

Ric Pinca, executive director of the Philippine Association of Flour Millers (Pafmil), also said the Turkish flour was of ?inferior quality.?

?Locally milled flour yields a higher protein content than the imported flour, Pinca told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an interview.

?Aside from the low-grade wheat, some shipments of Turkish flour are sold at below production cost, thereby posing unfair competition to local flour producers,? he said.

He charged some importers with mis-declaring the flour?s real value in order to save on tariffs and value-added tax, which is a form of ?technical smuggling.?

Pafmil said that of the 86,000 metric tons of flour imported from Turkey in 2009, some 19,000 MT were undervalued, causing the government to lose P16.9 million in revenues.

The flour millers, who have steadily increased their prices in the past months, found an ally in Senate Minority Floor Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr., who called on various government agencies to conduct an inquiry into the ?dumping? of Turkish flour in the local market.

Pimentel also urged the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health, and Bureau of Food and Drugs to investigate reports that the health of Filipino consumers was being endangered by the sale of pan de sal made from ?contaminated and potentially toxic? Turkish flour.

Pimentel said that while Turkey may claim that the levels of mycotoxins in the flour it exports are tolerable, Philippine health authorities should not take their word for it. The DoH and BFAD must conduct their own tests, he said.

He said big bread manufacturers in the Philippines had refrained from using Turkish flour ?because it does not meet their standards.?

Nancy C. Carvajal


Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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