Jinggoy seeks Senate probe on unregistered products

(MALAYA) SEN. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada has filed a resolution urging the appropriate Senate committee to conduct an investigation on what he said were the deceptive online advertisements of various unregistered products using well-known personalities as endorsers.

In filing Senate Resolution No. 666, Estrada said: “The names and pictures of famous Filipino personalities and celebrities such as Sharon Cuneta and Kris Aquino were used in these fraudulent advertisements without their permission and expressed consent. Such ads mislead consumers that aforesaid celebrities are using and endorsing food and medicinal products which are actually unregistered before the proper health authorities and are not yet approved for mass distribution and public consumption.”

Estrada said Dr. Tony Leachon, a health reform advocate, has warned the general public about social media pages that use his name and picture to make it appear he is personally endorsing Grandsure Gold nutrient drink, a product that can allegedly prevent osteoarthritis; and Glufarelin milk, which can reportedly cure diabetes.

“Grandsure Gold and Glufarelin are both not registered to the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Leachon categorically denied he is endorsing any product or supplements. The NIH (National Health Institute) also denied that it is endorsing the product nor supporting the claims contained in the ads,” Estrada said.

Estrada said Dr. Willie Ong, an internist and cardiologist with a huge following, has also refuted social media posts showing he is endorsing a “miracle food” in the form of mixed nuts.

Dr. Ong clarified that he is not the owner of the social media pages which promote the product, saying his name was merely used in the fake ads.

Estrada said the social media accounts of unregistered products are viewed and shared by thousands of unsuspecting netizens, providing them with inaccurate and false information on the efficacy, quality, and safety of the food, drug, and health products.

“The circulation and proliferation of fraudulent online advertisements are clear and blatant violations of the Consumer Act which penalizes dissemination of deceptive and misleading advertisements. There is an urgent need to protect the consumers against the consumption of unregistered and potentially harmful food and health products through strict enforcement of the provision of the Consumer Act and regulation of fraudulent advertisements in social media platforms,” he said.

He said the investigation aims to identify and plug the possible loopholes in the country’s prevailing laws and regulations and “update their provisions, considering the extensive employment of social media platforms and cyberspace.”