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NBI seizes fake-branded wheat flour in Manila, QC

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has confiscated over a thousand sacks of counterfeit Philippine Foremost Milling Corporation (PFMC) wheat flour during a raid of several warehouses in Manila and Quezon City early this week.

In a statement on Wednesday, PFMC said agents of the NBI raided warehouses in Sampaloc, Manila and Novaliches, Quezon City on Monday, acting on a search warrant issued by Manila Regional Trial Court.

The flour milling company said authorities found and confiscated during the search were over 1,100 sacks of fake Washington Gold Hard Wheat Flour packed in polypropylene sack or cotton sack and 145 re-stitched and re-sacked original sacks containing different flour.

Washington Gold Hard Wheat Flour is an original product of PFMC.

PFMC said it received complaints from its bakery customers of alleged quality issues on one of its popular flour products, particularly the Washington Gold Hard Wheat Flour.

The company said it immediately conducted an investigation and discovered that the flour delivered to the said bakeries were fake Washington Gold Hard Wheat Flour products.

PFMC said that while the seized 25-kilo sacks of flour showed its 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,” the company said.

PFMC said the caretaker of the Novaliches warehouse claimed that the sacks were bought from Divisoria Market but failed to identify the seller.

Following the seizure of the fake products, the company said suppliers of the fake-branded products could be held liable for alleged violation of Republic Act No. 8293 or Trademark Infringement Act.

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,” the company said.—AOL, GMA Integrated News