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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.

New Zealand

New food bill places new emphasis flexibility and low compliance costs

New Zealand’s lawmakers have signed off on a new bill that that rewrites the country’s food safety regulations.

Comment

China is missing a trick by regulating midsize firms out of the market

Pacing through the hall of last week’s Fi Asia-Vietnam trade show in Saigon, something seemed very different. 

POIG sets new benchmark for responsible palm oil

A new set of indicators set out by the NGO-backed Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG) aims to take responsible palm sourcing to a new level.

Australia

Scientists link poor pre-pregnancy diet with premature birth

Women trying to become pregnant should avoid junk food after scientists discovered the link between poor diet and an increased risk of giving birth prematurely. 

Australia

Green group calls for ban on nanomaterials

An environmental group in Australia has warned against the increasing use of nanomaterials in the food chain, calling for a ban on them until the further research on their safety...

FAO chief urges global commitment to tackle nutrition challenges

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva has called on countries to put nutrition high on their national and international agendas, and to take a lead role in the upcoming Second...

Singapore

Scientists make brain breakthrough with long-term omega-3 potential

While research suggests the DHA omega-3 fatty acid is good for the brain, little has been understood about how it is absorbed. But now a new study by researchers in...

‘Blue growth’ is the basis for sustainable fishing, says the FAO

Poor farm practices and a heavy reliance on wild fish for feed threatens long-term sustainability, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Australia

10% of babies expected to develop food allergies in first year

One in 10 Australian babies will develop a food allergy by their first birthday, medical experts and health groups said while calling on the Australian government to recognise food allergy...

News in brief

Anger over Western Australia's ban on energy drinks during World Cup

The drinks industry has slammed as “absurd” Western Australia’s decision to ban energy drinks as mixers during late-night screenings of World Cup matches.

Australia

Budget largely positive for industry despite tough austerity measures

The food industry has come out largely in support of this week’s Australian federal Budget, which is being viewed by commentators as the toughest in two decades.

Comment

Halal: Out of certification chaos comes criticism (and Islamophobia?)

The sensationalist media coverage around so called ‘stealth halal’ is only fuelled by the lack of certification harmonisation, Food Navigator’s Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn argues.

Oz lawmakers urged to be more complementary towards healthcare Budget

Ahead of the Australian national Budget next week, the Complementary Healthcare Council has called on lawmakers to move away from what it calls a “short-sighted slash-and-burn approach” and adopt a...

Six months after Haiyan, Philippines agriculture is on the mend

Tens of thousands of farmers are bringing in their first rice harvest just six months after one of the worst typhoons ever to hit the Philippines left their fields in...

Study aims to understand consumers' view of meat from paddock to plate

Adelaide University has embarked on a new, three-year research project to identify the key concerns among consumers about how livestock is treated and how much they are willing to pay...

Australia

Researcher hopes emu oil may cut bowel cancer

A Perth-based researcher is conducting groundbreaking research to investigate whether emu oil can be taken orally to treat bowel diseases that can lead to the onset of bowel cancer.

Analysis: Indian elections

Holy cow! Modi’s buffalo stance is based on votes, not religion

“The holiness of the cow is very much linked to the communal overtones of Indian politics,” wrote Indian historian DN Jha, who received death threats following the release of his...

China slaps temporary ban on British cheese imports

China has slapped a temporary ban on the import of British cheese after health officials from the country identified several hygiene issues at a single UK dairy.

Oz acrylamide, aluminium levels safe yet still 'potentially harmful'

Food Standards Australia New Zealand, the Australasian regulator, has said that consumers’ exposure to acrylamide and aluminium through their diets is within international guidelines, even if these levels are still...

Australian regulator starts legal action against Coles

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has started proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against local supermarket giant Coles over an alleged breach in the country’s consumer laws....

Seeds sown for sunflower lecithin in chocolate after Japan approval

Cargill says that chocolate manufacturers can now make the switch from soy lecithin to the “more sustainable” sunflower lecithin after Japan became the last country to approve the emulsifier....

India’s ‘king of fruits’ exiled from Europe following produce ban

India’s regulator responsible for agriculture exports has said it was not consulted ahead of the European Union’s decision this week to temporarily ban the import of Indian mangoes and vegetables...

Danone Group 'trying to whitewash' Nutricia India marketing practices: BMA

Breastfeeding advocate Baby Milk Action (BMA) has accused the Danone Group of attempting to “whitewash” the activities of its Nutricia India business, which is facing allegations it approved illegal payments to doctors....

CUB takes rap for misleading consumers with city-brewed country beer

Carlton & United Breweries will relabel stocks of beer that it acknowledges might have “misled” consumers into believing the product had been brewed hundreds of kilometres away from its real...

Fruit and veg found to help prevent pancreatic diseases

A University of Auckland research team has found that people who eat both fruit and vegetables will have the best protection against common pancreatic diseases.

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