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News in brief

Japan and Portugal sign food safety agreement

Japan and Portugal have signed a memorandum of cooperation to work together on food safety.

Dateline Southeast Asia

Half of Malaysian deaths now due to NCDs

Non-communicable diseases are now responsible for half of all Malaysian deaths each year, according to a senior health official.

China

Food safety violators could face new beefed-up economic restrictions

A tougher food safety law will come into effect in China next month to bring more stringent sanctions for violations, including economic penalties, while defending whistleblowers more stridently.

India mulls reclassifying vitamins as drugs if they come with health claims

India may classify vitamin supplements as drugs rather than foods if the manufacturers of such products claim they can treat or prevent disease.

South Asia radius

Bombay High Court upholds food safety law to ‘remedy evil’

India’s existing food safety laws serve a “pivotal role” in securing public health, Bombay High Court has ruled in a move that gives some rare good news the country’s beleaguered...

News in brief

Food Industry Asia signs agreement as part of Global Food Safety Partnership

Food Industry Asia (FIA) will scale-up food safety capacity building in ASEAN and China after signing an agreement with the World Bank for the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP).

New Zealand

WHO obesity report to emphasise role of food education

An impending report on childhood obesity will point to the need for a stronger emphasis on food education in schools, according Sir Peter Gluckman, the New Zealand prime minister’s chief...

This week Down Under

Researchers: Junk food diet leads to brain weaknesses

New research has shown for the first time that the part of the brain used for learning, memory and mental health is smaller in people with unhealthy diets.

South Asian radius

UN: Rising food insecurity crippling Afghanistan

The number of people in Afghanistan resorting to selling land or turning to friends or family for help because of food insecurity has doubled in the last year, according to...

Monday feature

Battery farming: Graphite could be super-fertiliser, say researchers

A rare form of graphite, better known for helping charge battery-powered gadgets, is currently being investigated by scientists in South Australia as a potential soil conditioner.

Mumbai bans meat

Mumbai has banned slaughter and the sale of meat, following a demand from the strictly vegetarian Jain community, sparking outrage among meat-eaters already upset by a permanent beef ban imposed...

FAO plans water usage database to improve productivity

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is developing an open-access database to measure water usage in the Middle East and North Africa, to improve water productivity and reduce scarcity...

‘People have a right to know where the juice used to make their cider comes from!’ Cider makers call for country of origin labels

Cider Australia has launched a petition calling for country of origin labelling laws to be extended to cider, in an effort to ensure producers using local ingredients are on a...

South Asia radius

India could have new approvals process by next spring

India’s food regulator intends to have a new product approvals process set up within the next six months. 

Feed sector welcomes FDA guidance on nanoparticles

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) says the FDA’s publication on the future use of nanomaterials in feed is to be commended and will facilitate further research into new technologies....

Soapbox - guest column

A body of proof for complementary medicine

Traditional and complementary medicines are widely used around the world and despite being frequently criticised for making unjustified clinical claims remain, the field remains one of the fastest growing areas...

Feature

Biosecurity plant to produce 50m sterile flies a week to wipe out pest

Upgraded biosecurity measures to combat fruit fly will be introduced in Australia, bringing added confidence to international trade markets.

South Asia radius

FSSAI looks to legal firms to form new regulatory guidelines

India’s food regulator has sought legal assistance to devise regulations that will govern product approvals, imports and procedures to issue guidelines. 

China direct

12.5% of beverages failed Chinese inspections in first-half of year

More than one in 10 drinks on sale in China did not meet national standards in the first six months of this year, China’s food regulator has announced.

Feature

Australia to lead worldwide task force to save endangered honey bees

To help address the growing threat of dwindling honey bee populations, Australia’s government research organisation is leading a global initiative to investigate the causes of their decline. 

Dateline Southeast Asia

Low-cost tools to solve large-scale water problem

Climate change and the overuse of water in agriculture means water scarcity poses a growing threat to farmers, households and industry in Vietnam. 

India

FSSAI to revamp guidelines to include thousands more products

The public will have the best part of a month to offer input into new guidelines for proprietary foods, health supplements and additives as India’s food regulator sets out to...

This week Down Under

Research backs belief that tomatoes can trigger gout

Gout sufferers who maintain that eating tomatoes can cause their condition to flare up will likely welcome new University of Otago research that has, for the first time, found a...

South Asia radius

Traders demand withdrawal of advisories after latest FSSAI setback

Indian traders have written to the health minister to demand that any advisory issued by the country’s food regulator over the last two years be withdrawn after a court bench...

Wrigley pushes to up permitted level of Ace K for gum in Australia and NZ

Wrigley hopes to bring Australia and New Zealand's rules on levels of Acesulphame Potassium in gum in line with international standards.

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