BACOLOD CITY: Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri has filed a resolution urging for an investigation into the impact to the domestic sugar industry of the increasing importation of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
In Senate Resolution No. 285, filed in February, Zubiri and co-author Sen. Richard Gordon said that the investigation, in aid of legislation, is aimed “at protecting the interests of our small farmers, agrarian reform beneficiaries and the domestic sugar industry.”
The HFCS is a processed sugar substitute derived from cornstarch and is commonly used in the food and beverage industry in combination with table sugar or sucrose.
Its authors added that HFCS is not produced locally. Industrial users of this processed sweeteener and preservative imported over 766,890 metric tons from the years 2011 to 2016 for use in the formulation of commercial foodstuff. Food companies’ shift to HFCS and the increasing volume of their use of it is one of the factors that has led to the drop in prices of locally produced sugar.
The resolution also cites that continued decrease in sugar prices affects the livelihood of thousands of farmers and the sugar industry as a whole.
“The negative impact of increasing importation of HFCS makes it hard for sugar producers and small farmers to recoup their expenses,” the resolution pointed out.