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China

China gives new food law more teeth and tougher penalties

The standing committee of China’s National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, has voted to adopt an amendment to the food safety law that proscribes the heaviest penalties yet to offenders.

Soapbox

GPs need schooling in complementary medicines

General practitioners need to gain a better understanding of complementary medicines, especially now that the Australian health minister has announced a collaborative governance arrangement for future GP training, says Carl Gibson of Complementary Medicines Australia. 

Dispatches from Asia Choco Cocoa Congress in Singapore

State-owned plantations could rouse Vietnam’s cocoa industry

Vietnamese state-owned companies plan to convert some coffee and rubber plantations to cocoa, delivering a significant boost to the country’s annual output, says Vietnam’s principle cocoa buyer Puratos Grand-Place.

Edible insect potential hinges on identifying optimal diet, say researchers

If edible insects such as crickets are to deliver on their promise of providing a more environmentally-friendly source of protein, they may need to be put on a different diet, suggests a new study.

Beverage bites: news up to April 24, 2015

Heineken sees Asian growth, wine gets the comedy treatment, and more beverage bites

This week Ball Corporation announced expanded capacity for can ends at a Poland plant, while Coca-Cola said it was eyeing up the growing plant-based protein drinks market in China. Meanwhile, South Australia’s wine industry looks forward to its starring TV role. Read on for more nuggets of news in this...

India

Agriculture minister urges Indian farmers to grow flood-tolerant rice

India’s agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh has asked farmers from 15 states to grow flood-tolerant rice varieties including Swarna-Sub1.

China

China could be self sufficient in grain by 2024, say officials

An official report has predicted that China will develop its own "rice bowl” to remain close to self sufficiency in the main crops at a time of great food uncertainty around the world.

Coca-Cola India bottling plant halted - more water rows?

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) will no longer build a Rs. 500 crore ($80m) bottling plant in Tamil Nadu, India citing ‘inordinate delays’ in the government system, but activists from the India Resource Centre (IRC) have claimed victory for a campaign on water shortage fears.