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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

NBI ops in Manila and QC yield ‘fake’ flour, packaging

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The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday confiscated over a thousand sacks of counterfeit branded wheat flour following a raid of several warehouses in Manila and Quezon City.

NBI agents conducted the raid in Sampaloc, Manila and Novaliches, Quezon City based on a search warrant issued by Manila Regional Trial Court Presiding Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa.

Found and confiscated during the search were over 1,100 sacks of counterfeit Washington Gold Hard Wheat Flour packed in polypropylene sack or cotton sack and 145 restitched and resacked original sacks containing different flour.

A certain Alan, caretaker of the Novaliches warehouse, claimed the sacks were bought from the Divisoria Market but failed to identify the seller. Following the seizure of the fake products, Goldepost General Merchandising (or Gold Post General Merchandise or Gouldpost) and Godsway Marketing (or God’s Way Trading) could be held liable for alleged violation of Republic Act No. 8293 or Trademark Infringement Act.

Washington Gold Hard Wheat Flour is an original product of Philippine Foremost Milling Corporation (PFMC), one of the country’s biggest flour millers.

Earlier, PFMC received complaints from its bakery customers of alleged quality issues on one of its popular flour products, the Washington Gold Hard Wheat Flour. The company immediately conducted an investigation and discovered that the flour delivered to the said bakeries were fake PFMC Washington Gold Hard Wheat Flour products.

PFMC noted that while the 25-kilo sacks of flour bore PFMC’s trademark, the printing of the label and the sacks used were of poor quality. Laboratory tests also confirmed that the flour inside the sacks were not real PFMC Washington Gold Hard Wheat Flour.

PFMC said the supplier of these fake products clearly intended to cheat and deceive bakeries into believing that they were purchasing PFMC’s high quality flour. Thus, sellers of these fake products could be held liable for trademark infringement and unfair competition, aside from violating the Consumer Act of the Philippines, the Food and Drugs Administration Act, and other laws.

“PFMC advises its customers to purchase flour only from authorized or reputable vendors that sell authentic PFMC flour for best quality bread,” the firm said.

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