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Headlines > Policy

Cost, cynicism and frustration: Malaysian government launches own palm oil standard

The Malaysian government has launched its own sustainable palm oil certification standard – but will this add to or detract from sustainability and transparency efforts in the sector?

Briefing

Hemp lobby dashed after ministers block call for its use in nutrition

Australia and New Zealand’s health and food lawmakers do not appear to be backing down in their opposition to the use of low-THC hemp as a food following a meeting...

News in brief

Senior official defends China’s agriculture’s ‘safety guarantee’

China's agricultural products are generally safe and reliable, China’s chief agricultural economist has stated.

Australia

Researchers ‘astounded’ by results of probiotic peanut allergy study

A probiotic could hold the key to treating peanut allergies in children, researchers in Melbourne have found.

Australia

Greens and growers wade into country-of-origin labelling debate

An influential industry group has added its weight to the push by the Australian Green party for clearer country of origin labelling on food, claiming the current system does not...

China

Bird flu season becoming a serious concern for Chinese authorities

A series of human infections from bird flu this year, alongside a spate of import bans, illustrates the acute fear among Chinese officials over the threat posed by live poultry...

News in brief

China opens doors to all US apples, ending 2012 ban

China’s food watchdog will allow the import of all US-grown apples in a move that could be worth US$100m a year to the American apple industry. 

Umami taste sensitivity linked to physical health in the elderly

There is a close relationship between a person’s perception of umami flavours and their appetite and physical health, according to new research.

Soapbox

Some wellness jobs haven't even been invented yet

An essential input into the natural health supply chain is the provision of well-educated and sound practitioners—just as is the case of those who seek corporate jobs in wellness, media,...

China

Smog blamed on smoking bacon, city bans practice ahead of new year

The culinary practice of smoking bacon, a traditional method of preserving pork, has been banned in the Chinese city of Chongqing after being blamed for much of its noxious air.

Australia

Poll: Public angry at gov't and industry’s approach to healthier food

Two-thirds of Australians believe that the food industry has more say than the government over food regulation, while eight out of 10 believe the health star rating should me mandatory...

China

Death for man who sold 19k tonnes of slaughtered cattle waste as lard

A man who sold thousands of tonnes of cooking oil made from the waste of slaughtered cattle has been given the death penalty and fined RMB340m (US$56m) by a court...

India

Indian government embarks on widespread agri-modernisation initiatives

More than 140m Indian farmers will receive so-called “soil health cards” over the next three years in an effort by the country’s agriculture ministry to help them boost productivity by...

Consultation on proposed updates runs until 20 February

MPI looks at upping food safety fees

Feedback on changes to fees around food safety and biosecurity, including some increases, is wanted by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

News in brief

China's agriculture smuggling seizures topped $7.2bn in 2014

Chinese customs seized more than 210,000 tonnes of smuggled rice in 2014, worth over US$200m, according to officials.

Japan

Hong Kong bans some Japanese poultry imports after H5N7 is detected

Hong Kong has banned the import of poultry from some regions of Japan, Israel and Nigeria following the announcement of H5 avian influenza outbreaks there.

Research

Anti-cholesterol drugs can 'safely' benefit female cardio disease

Women without any history of cardiovascular disease can reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke after an Australian study finally proved “conclusively” that cholesterol-busting statin treatment works for both...

India

Pesticide lobby slams FSSAI for allowing outlandish organic claims

India’s food industry watchdog has been criticised for allowing organic food to be sold in India through “deceptive and false claims”. Some products, according to the Crop Care Federation, which...

China bans all US poultry imports after west coast bird flu outbreak

Chinese authorities have announced a ban on all imports of US poultry and egg products, including processed and unprocessed products and breeding stock, after the detection of avian flu in...

Australia

Caffeine found to boost soft drinks consumption, industry slams study

Australian researchers have called for tighter regulation of caffeine after it was found that the addition of the chemical in soft drinks increases their consumption.

Midamar manager admits selling fake Halal beef to ME

A former manager at US meat producer Midamar has pleaded guilty to using Kosher beef and faking inspection marks on meat sold as Halal to Middle East and Asian markets.

Research

Soybean salt tolerance gene identified as crop land gets more saline

With the amount of saline agricultural land expected to double by 2050, a Sino-Australian research effort has identified a specific soybean gene that it believes will vasty improve crop resistance...

India

Drug trial compensation increased though still not enough, say experts

While India plans to increase compensation payments to volunteers who suffer disability from clinical trials, some experts have criticised the new regime for not going far enough.

China

China eyes potato cultivation as possible solution to low agri-yield

China’s central government is pushing potatoes to be its fourth-biggest staple crop after rice, wheat and corn following a policy announcement by its vice-minister for agriculture.

Hong Kong proposes ban on infant formula nutrition claims

Hong Kong has proposed banning nutrition claims on infant formula products over concerns they mislead consumers and discourage breastfeeding.

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