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Headlines > Policy


From regulation to public health campaigns, the priorities of governments, industry, civil society groups and other stakeholders feed into the policies and programmes that influence eating habits in Asia.

Indonesia in brief

Fertiliser firms must work with food companies to boost production

Indonesia’s president has urged the fertiliser industry to support food companies in working to achieve food security and broaden exports.

Singapore looks to curb widespread food wastage after 50% increase

As Singapore’s National Environment Agency launches a campaign to curb food wastage, it was revealed that residents each dumped roughly 150kg of food last year.

Dateline Southeast Asia

Filipino lawmakers voice support for soda tax bill

Support for a Philippines tax on sugary soft drinks to boost government coffers and rein in an increase in lifestyle is growing as legislation passes through parliament.

South Asia Radius

Food Security Act to be in place by March 2016 despite delays

All but one of India’s states and territories will be subject to the new National Food Security Act by March next year.


Complementary health red tape review well received by industry

A final report by an independent review panel on how to streamline regulations in Australia’s complementary medicines sector has stressed the importance of cutting red tape.

Indonesia is burning - but how responsible is the palm oil industry?

Indonesia’s forests are being ravaged by forest and peatland fires that are sparking a public health and environmental crisis – but how responsible is the palm oil industry?

China direct

One-third of China’s elderly are obese, yet malnutrition still a worry

An alarming number of China’s elderly have been found to suffer from weight-related conditions following a study that covered six provinces in the country.

News in brief

All Taipei hypermarkets found to have lax stock expiry practices

More than a dozen Taipei hypermarket outlets will be fined for their failure to declare their disposal methods for expired produce, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection has announced.

Soapbox - Guest column

Is complementary medicine shackled by a nanny state?

There is still an Australian self-view involving reckless abandon, a laissez-faire approach to rules and an attitude toward life that involves doing what we want, when we want. Ours is...

“It is one of our goals to work more in the major regulatory decision-making centres."

Sterol & stanol giants join to boost cholesterol-lowering category

Six players – Danone, Raisio, Unilever, Cargill, BASF and Arboris – have formed a group to propel cholesterol-lowering plant stanols and sterols science into the media and policy spotlights to...

This week Down Under

Dropping one treat a day could halve Australia’s child obesity rate

Australian childhood obesity rates could be transformed if families were to make seemingly small changes to their lifestyles, researchers have found. 

China direct

Responsibility for China’s food security to be devolved to provinces

Provincial governors have been warned that they will be held accountable for any lapses in China’s food security strategy after the cabinet made them responsible for its enactment.

Far East digest

Hi-tech farming: NEC's use of data analysis to grow farm yields

NEC Corporation, the Japanese IT and networking technologies company, has developed a solution to analyse large-scale farming as part of a corporate programme to help increase agricultural efficiency.

dispatches from RAFA 2015, Prague

FAO and IAEA set out food safety challenges for developing countries

A workshop on food safety for developing countries including capacity building guidance has been held by the FAO and IAEA at the RAFA symposium in Prague.

New water regulations have knock-on effect for Kiwi livestock farmers

Facing significant changes from increased environmental regulation, New Zealand’s livestock farmers should start to plan ahead, Rabobank has warned.

Dateline Southeast Asia

Thailand mulls action to curb extravagant soft drink promotions

Thailand’s government is considering measures to regulate the advertising of soft drinks, including green tea, which it says is behind the country’s soaring sugar consumption. 

Diabetes chief says no to NZ sugar tax

The head of a body that represents New Zealanders with diabetes has hit out at arguments that a tax on sugary products would help prevent the spread of the disease.

Food safety is a global issue which needs to be addressed locally - GFSI

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) has entered into three partnerships to boost food safety.

Far East digest

Health ministry censured over Taiwan oil scandal

Taiwan’s health ministry has been censured by lawmakers for what has been seen as its disappointing reaction to an edible oil scandal last year.

FAO and WTO aim to improve small-scale producer access to international markets

Helping small-scale farmers and producers in developing countries to access the global marketplace can help to boost nutrition and development, say the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the...

This week Down Under

Poll shows overwhelming Australian support for legal medical marijuana

Nine out of every 10 Australians believe the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes should be made legal, according to a survey.

Far East digest

Less health risk for overweight Koreans than those who are underweight

Overweight Koreans may live longer than those who are underweight, possibly due to better awareness of the risks they faced, research has found.

Is RSPO certification becoming irrelevant?

Companies are increasingly demanding certified palm oil using criteria that are stricter than current RSPO standards – does the mean the RSPO certification is in danger of becoming irrelevant?

Interview with Carl Gibson, chief executive of Complementary Medicines Australia

Australian complementary health: State of the industry 2015

Although a jolly affair, the Complementary Medicines Australia annual conference a year ago took place to a backdrop of concern over the so-called race to the bottom in consumer preventative...

Guest article

Quality is more than compliance

The provision of high quality products is fundamental to the goal of the complementary medicines industry of enhancing consumers’ health.

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