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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.

Australia

Hemp food pioneer hopes legalisation will bring sky-high growth

Currently consigned to pet food aisles, or products branded “for external use only”, hemp may soon be sold as a food in Australia, which in turn is on the cusp...

CVD: Blinkered training pushes young doctors away from supplements

Doctors show low willingness to recommend omega-3s to their patients because the training they received lacked any attention to nutrition and lifestyle.

Finding the fish: Rethinking nutrition amid modern diets

In a perfect world you would get all the omega-3s you need by eating fish, but less than 10% of Australian adults consume the required level of fish regularly, writes Gerald...

China

Food safety ‘stable’ as year’s first scandal breaks in Tianjin

Additive overuse and microbial contamination were behind almost two-thirds of all food-safety issues in China last year, while less than 1% of infant formula failed to meet national standards.

India

Law Commission to recommend life imprisonment for adulterators

India’s Law Commission is expected as soon as this week to give its recommendations on amending the penal code for adulteration crimes, including enhancing the severest penalty to life imprisonment....

'Highly frequent' energy drink consumption associated with mental health problems for teens

A new study indicates that Korean teenagers who regularly consume energy drinks are at “great risk” of mental health problems, particularly when consumed in combination with junk food, researchers claim.

South Asia radius

Fat tax on the cards for next month’s Budget

Budget watchers are predicting an increase to taxes on fast food and sugary drinks on February 1 after senior ministers put pressure on the prime minister to introduce a health levy.

China

Firms told to look abroad for JVs to protect home food security

Beijing has urged Chinese food businesses to find overseas counterparts that are suitable for commercial partnerships or ripe for acquisition in a bid to improve food safety at home.

News in brief

Hong Kong adds to avian flu blocked list

Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has banned the imports of poultry meat and products from Egypt, the Odessa and Chernivtsi Oblasts...

China direct

Feelings of inferiority and over-eating linked for first time

People who feel socially inferior eat more, a Hong Kong-Singapore study has found, suggesting that feeling poor is enough to trigger over-eating.

New Zealand

Study lifts lid on how much alcohol branding kids see on sports TV

Kiwi viewers can be exposed to four alcoholic drinks brands every minute as they watch sport on the television, leading some children to assume that drinking alcohol was “part of...

News in brief

Hanoi ramps up local agri-inspections due to lack of safe local food

Hanoi’s city’s authorities have ordered agriculture inspectors to double down on food inspections to increase the amount of safe local food available for consumers.

Dateline Southeast Asia

Indonesia hints at halal mark, urges firms to target Islamic market

As Indonesia continues to miss out on the lucrative global halal market, Jakarta has begun drumming up support among SMEs to certify their halal from overseas bodies before exporting their...

China imposes 'punitive' DDGS anti-dumping tax, US looks to new markets

The US Grains Council (USGC) is ramping up international sales expansion efforts for US generated dried distiller’s grains with solubles (DDGS) after a slowdown in Chinese sales due to a...

Australia

Vineyards test virtual gate in a bid to keep grape pests out

Software initially developed to safeguard the Canadian poultry industry is now being trialled by Australian wineries to help keep pests and diseases out of premium vineyards.

Farming returning to Mosul even as fighting continues to ravage city

Thousands of the poorest residents of the war-torn region around Mosul, along with hundreds of thousands of other struggling Iraqis, are being given the chance to earn for themselves again...

Europe donates millions to Yemen to boost food production

The European Union has committed €12m (US$12.7m) in support of efforts to tackle rising hunger among the 14m food-insecure residents of strife-torn Yemen.

UAE improves food-safety competence by a quarter in quick time

UAE officials have been applauding themselves for the great strides the country has made by improving its food-safety index rating by a quarter in just three years.

India

Minister to monitor dreaded food inflation ahead of bumper harvest

The government has made maintaining stable prices of all essential food items a priority this year in a bid to manage food inflation and temper unrest.

Chinese president talks tough about food safety plans

President Xi Jinping said that China could not be too rigorous in promoting food safety, as the government set out its plans to impose “the strictest supervision” and increase penalties...

Chinese farms face new environment tax

China’s pig sector looks set to be restrained by a new environmental tax to pay for proper handling of effluent.

Australian price watchdog needs more ‘teeth’, says beef body

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) should be given more powers to collect accurate data on the meat industry, the Australian Beef Association (ABA) has claimed.

Australia

Summer heat not to blame for rise in salmonella from free-range eggs

Free-range eggs do not pose a greater risk of Salmonella contamination in hot months compared with other seasons, according to Australian researchers. The findings have shattering a supposed myth that has linked...

New pollution licences could spell danger for Chinese sweeteners firms

The Chinese government’s drive to increase environmental protection by issuing so-called “pollutant discharge licences" stands to damage the local sweetener industry.

Australia

Kids following 'European model' three times less likely to binge drink

Children given sips of alcohol by their parents are much more likely to be drinking full measures by 16, but less likely to binge drink, according to a study of...

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