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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 faking Halal shipment info

A former manager at US meat producer Midamar has pleaded guilty to faking certificates on meat sold as Halal, and admitted using Kosher beef in place of Halal meat, in...

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.

Australia

Industry unites to slam NSW's support of container recycling scheme

An alliance of industry food and beverage associations has waded into speculation that the New South Wales government will introduce a cash-for-containers recycling scheme after a Sydney newspaper reported that...

The Lancet: Better nutrition requires better political economy understanding

Improving global nutrition won’t be achieved unless, “the roles of politics, economics, and institutions” can be better understood, The Lancet has reported.

Review of the year

Asia-Pacific in 2014: A year of scandals, soul searching and success

The last 12 months have been turbulent for much of Asia-Pacific's food industry, with regulations, legislation, markets and partnerships continuing to develop in the latest step in the region's economic...

Australia

Trade groups back recommendation for extension to recycling programme

An alliance of Australian trade associations has welcomed the findings of a Council of Australian Governments (Coag) report that recommends the introduction of an industry-led national recycling and anti-litter programme,...

Australia

Fruit could lower risk of depression in women

Women who eat fewer than two serves of fruit a day face a greater risk of developing depression, University of Queensland research has found.

India

Quarter of all milk adulterated, minister promises more effective laws

More than a quarter of all samples of milk taken across India are adulterated, the country’s health minister has revealed.