The General Alliance of Workers Associations is opposing Pepsi Cola’s request to sell its 9,196 metric tons of High Fructose Corn Syrup to Asian Alcohol Co. based in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, instead of destroying in as ordered by the Sugar Board.
Granting Pepsi permission to sell its HFCS to AAC would set a dangerous precedent that might bring irreparable damage to the sugar industry, particularly to agrarian reform beneficiaries and marginal farmers, GAWA secretary general Wennie Sancho said yesterday.
What would prevent the other beverage firms from invoking such precedent, should the SRA grant Pepsi’s request? he asked.
Sancho pointed out that sugar industry leaders have questioned the Sugar Board’s conversion of the 9,196 MT of imported HFCS from D or world market sugar to B or domestic market sugar, but Sugar Board member Roland Beltran assured that it was not for commercial use but to be destroyed in accordance with its disposal pan.
However, Pepsi has also asked the Sugar Board to reconsider its order for destruction and for it to be allowed to sell the HFCS to ACC to be used as an additive in the process of producing potable grade alcohol, he noted.
GAWA has been opposing the importation of HFCS because it is the culprit that had caused the price of domestic sugar to plummet, Sancho said.
The Sugar Board has included Pepsi’s request in the agenda of its meeting today.*CPG
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