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India to introduce food-safety officials in all foodservice premises

India’s food regulator has made it mandatory for hotels and restaurants to employ at least one member of staff trained in food safety, who will check for food adulteration.

Mediterranean diet linked to rheumatoid arthritis benefits: Japan study

Adopting a Mediterranean diet, rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), could help suppress disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis patients, researchers in Japan report.

South Asia radius

Assocham: Bring cities to the countryside to boost rural growth

Though they account for almost three quarters of India’s population, farmers and rural dwellers account for just 17% of national income, according to Assocham as it urged key service sectors...

Hong Kong mulls adulteration code changes after 30 years

For the first time in more than three decades, Hong Kong food authorities have opened up a proposed amendment to its food adulteration code to public consultation.

China takes big step toward improving pig welfare

Chinese agri-food producer Da Bei Nong will introduce group sow housing and lower stocking density in a scheme that could radically change animal welfare for half the world’s pig population....

News in brief

Thailand to be food ‘superpower’ in two decades

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has vowed to make the country a food industry “superpower” in the next 20 years, as he introduced a new strategy.

Five principles to navigate the 'shopper revolution'

The global food industry is in a state of revolution, making it more challenging than ever for retailers and manufacturers to stay one step ahead of shoppers’ changing needs.


Label descriptions make us more emotional about wine

Researchers have found that consumers are much more influenced by wine label descriptions than had previously been thought.

Bangladesh to get 10% fast food levy

Bangladesh’s finance minister announced to parliament that he was committed to imposing new taxes on fast food as a health measure.

South Asia radius

New mega food parks to come online despite sluggish progress

Up to four mega food parks will become operational over the course of next three months, according to India’s minister of state for food processing industries.

Alibaba Group, Aker BioMarine and China Chamber of Commerce to feature at USCHPA's Shanghai summit

China's cross-border e-commerce will be the subject of a keynote speech delivered by Ali-Health's (Alibaba Group) international director Daniel Yiu at this year's US-China Health Products Association (USCHPA) summit.

New Zealand wine industry signs biosecurity partnership

New Zealand’s wine industry has signed the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) for Biosecurity Readiness and Response: an agreement that looks at pests and diseases and sets out actions to minimize...

South East Asia’s US$10bn obesity bombshell: New report reveals economic cost of health epidemic

The annual economic cost of obesity in South East Asia could be as high as US$10bn, a number that could rocket to $45bn if people who are currently overweight go...

Thailand expects cap on sugar content by 2018

Thailand is expected to introduce a sugar cap by next year, according to the national food regulator. 

This week Down Under

British MP warns exports to Australia will ‘go off’ in transit

Britain’s departure from the European Union will not result in more food trade with Australia and New Zealand because products will “go off” en route, according to a senior politician....

News in brief

UAE fish safety scare was nothing more than rumours

A senior government official has brushed off suggestions that fish and shellfish captured in UAE waters have been affected by pollution and unsafe for consumption. 

Dubai launches Ramadan Fridge programme to feed poor

Dubai residents will be able to donate food through 80 new Ramadan fridges at mosques across the emirate.

News in brief

Abu Dhabi redoubles safety inspections for Ramadan

Abu Dhabi food authorities have doubled down inspections over Ramadan, and at the time of writing have assessed almost 200 grocery stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets in the emirate.

Saudi sets date for 50-100% beverage sin tax next month

Saudi Arabia will begin to tax energy drinks and carbonated sodas from June 10, making it the first country in the Gulf to fix an implementation date. 

Infant nutrition: Early intake key to reducing food allergy risks - Australian consensus

Common allergens should be incorporated into Australian infants’ diets in the first year of their lives in order to minimise their risk of food allergies, according to a panel of...

Cattle sale restrictions introduced by Indian government

The Indian meat industry has warned that new rules prohibiting the sale of aged cattle from markets for slaughter may hinder the recent success of the sector.

FAO praises China’s ‘Belt and Road’ project

China’s Belt and Road initiative can help achieve sustainable development goals provided it addresses the needs of millions of farmers and fishermen in the countries involved.

Indonesia granted $600m irrigation loan from ADB

The Asian Development Bank has approved a US$600m loan to support an Indonesian programme to improve irrigation and boost food security in poor rural areas. 

Dateline Southeast Asia

Malaysia: Manufacturer-backed sugar hike rejected by government

Malaysia will not increase the market price of sugar, despite a request to do so from one of the country’s most prominent companies and pressure from consumers’ associations to introduce...

Australia, NZ most obese OECD countries in APAC

Australia and New Zealand are now among the OECD’s five most obese nations, while Japan and South Korea are the two least obese nations on the list, according to the...

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