FDA records 21 deaths from lam­banog

The Philippine Star - - METRO - – Sheila Crisostomo

A to­tal of 21 per­sons were doc­u­mented to have died af­ter con­sum­ing lam­banog or co­conut wine con­tain­ing high lev­els of methanol this year, the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA) re­ported yes­ter­day.

Based on the re­port ob­tained by The STAR, the lam­banog con­sumed by 44 vic­tims came from “mul­ti­ple es­tab­lish­ments in Lu­zon.” Six­teen of the 44 who were poi­soned came from Barangay Tambo in Ca­pas, Tar­lac. Four of them died af­ter drink­ing lam­banog on Nov. 19.

There were five cases in Barangay Pooc in Santa Rosa, La­guna on Dec. 5, three of whom died.

Four cases were re­ported in MHA Site 3, Barangay Sto. To­mas in Calauan, La­guna, in­clud­ing three deaths.

Three cases were recorded each in Si­tio Buhang­i­nan in Tag­bak, Barangay San Jose, An­tipolo City, Rizal and In­te­rior Bala street, in Barangay San Diego, Luisiana, La­guna on May 8 and Aug. 25, re­spec­tively. There were two deaths in each lo­cal­ity.

Ten cases were re­ported in No­valiches, Que­zon City, in­clud­ing four deaths. There were three cases – all of whom died – in Barangay Su­col, Calamba City, La­guna on Dec. 6.

The FDA found that the lam­banog prod­ucts’ methanol lev­els ranged from 6.5 per­cent to 21.8 per­cent.

With re­gards to the 10 re­cent cases in No­valiches, the re­port showed “no sam­ples for­warded to FDA as no col­lec­tion was done by the RESU (re­gional sur­veil­lance unit).” All sam­ples were con­fis­cated by the Que­zon City po­lice.

The FDA was able to col­lect sam­ples of the “Boss­ing To­mador” brand in Barangay Su­col in Calamba City, La­guna. Three bot­tles con­tained methanol rang­ing from 6.6 per­cent to 8.9 per­cent.

In an ad­vi­sory, FDA di­rec­tor gen­eral Nela Cha­rade Puno ad­vised the pub­lic to “ex­er­cise ex­treme cau­tion in pur­chas­ing or con­sum­ing the al­co­holic bev­er­age lam­banog.” She said only prod­ucts that reg­is­tered with the agency should be pa­tron­ized.

Puno said in­ges­tion of high amounts of methanol could lead to blind­ness and per­ma­nent neu­ro­logic dys­func­tion, among oth­ers, and even death.

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