Beer drinkers, beware !

Despite complaints, filed by consumers to the appropriate Government Health Agencies, the Philippines largest drinks manufacturer, San Miguel Corporation, allegedly keeps on poisoning its clientele. Established in 1890 as a brewery, the company is Southeast Asia’s largest publicly listed food, beverage and packaging company with over 15,000 employees in more than 100 facilities throughout the Asia-Pacific.

Allegedly about 70 percent of the bottle caps, used by the San Miguel Corporation to close their light beer and other drinks, are rusted. The problem seems to occur after cooling the drinks. Consumption of rust can cause kidney and liver problems. The probability of not reaching the age of 40 in the Philippines is 8.9 percent, which is a much higher percentage compared to other countries like China, Singapore and South Korea. This is partly due to a relatively high number of kidney and liver diseases, many of which may be traced back to consumption of rust.

Kidney diseases in the Philippines have been in an increasing trend, especially the end-stage renal disease (ERSD) as reported in the Philippine Renal Disease Registry (PRDR) in 2007. The rate of death due to end-stage renal disease has been in the top ten list of the mortality of the Department of Health (DOH – 2007). Estimates reveal that the number of these patients might double in 2010. The number of people in the Philippines with liver diseases is rapidly increasing as well.

San Miguel carries the brand names of some of the most formidable players in the Philippine beverage industry. The company’s flagship product, beer, is one of the largest selling beers and among the top 15 beer brands in the world. The Company’s manufacturing operations extend beyond its home market to Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia and its products are exported to more than 50 markets around the world.

Law firms allegedly stated that, San Miguel is violating the Consumer Act of the Philippines. Republic Act No. 7394 regulates among others the protection of consumers against hazardous drinks.