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Japan scrambles to limit impact of bird flu outbreak

Japan has confirmed a third outbreak of avian flu in as many days, prompting the cull of thousands of farmed birds in the north of the country.

News in brief

Philippines’ proposed salt tax slammed by lawmakers

A Philippines law designed to tax each excess milligram of sodium relative to guidelines has met with strong opposition at committee stage after one representative remarked that such a levy...

NZ government swoops on illegal meat operation

An illegal yet sophisticated meat processing ring in greater Auckland has been shut down after a raid orchestrated by New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Australians’ poor diets leading to unexpected cases of scurvy

A historical disease caused by a lack of vitamin C and associated with old-world sailors, it appears that scurvy is reappearing in Australia due to poor modern dietary habits.

News in brief

Illegal operation involved more than 100 customers - MPI

An illegal meat processing operation has been discovered by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in New Zealand.


Brain’s salt addiction centre is an extension of opiate system

Australian scientists have identified the part of the brain responsible for sodium addiction, raising hopes that a drug could be developed to suppress salt cravings. 

News in brief

WITec opens China office to offer local presence

WITec has opened an office in Beijing which will host customer events.

Philippines takes on meat import fraud through permit recall

In a bid to tackle import food fraud, the Philippines Department of Agriculture is to cancel and recall all import permits on agricultural products. 


Social media blurs lines between alcohol and sport, researchers claim

An Australian study into how alcohol companies use sport to sell their products via social media suggests that businesses go beyond simple promotion by encouraging their audiences to create and...


Another dairy importer suspended as officials target Australian firms

In a further sign that Chinese authorities are strengthening their supervision of imported infant formula, a major Australian manufacturer with a 100-year history has seen its Chinese business registration suspended.

South Asia radius

FSSAI doubles down on food safety with expert review of standards

India’s food regulator is in the process of setting up a panel to review the country’s safety standards in the context of global norms.

UAE orders withdrawal of further three ‘herbal supplements’

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention has banned a further three ‘herbal supplements’ and warned they could endanger the lives of patients.

US Senators: We need faster GM approval process by China

Several US Senators have called on the Obama administration to make the approval process for GM products a focus in upcoming trade talks with China.

Safer fruit and veg target for Bangladesh project

Improving the safety of the Bangladeshi fruit and vegetable sector is the target of a SWITCH-Asia project which runs until the end of 2019.

News in brief

UNIDO helps in setting up Egyptian food safety agency

Egypt has signed two agreements with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) including helping to create the Egyptian Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Australia-New Zealand

Regulator considers permitting use of all minor steviol glycosides

The antipodean food regulator is surveying opinion on an application by a natural sweetener company to permit a wider range of steviol glycosides for use as intense sweeteners.

This week Down Under

Obesity named as Australia’s biggest health challenge

Obesity has overtaken smoking to become Australia’s biggest public health challenge, one of the country’s most senior health practitioners has warned.

Hong Kong and EU universities partner for food safety centre

European universities are to work with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) on food safety.

Walmart Foundation tackles food safety in China

The University of Arkansas has received a $2.3m grant from the Walmart Foundation to fund projects involving the poultry industry in China.


Maharashtra looks at fast-food fat tax to curb obesity

The state of Maharashtra is considering imposing a so-called “fat tax” on fast food in a bid to push residents into eating more healthily. 


Food-safety milestones: Turbulent times and expanding capabilities

The past few years have been tumultuous in the food industry, with unfortunate food safety incidents eroding consumer trust in the supply chain and governing bodies stepping up to implement...

Dubai’s kebab makers in shawarma drama following rule changes

Dubai authorities are believed to have closed almost half of all the emirate’s shawarma stands after new food safety and hygiene regulations came into effect at the start of this...

TPP will undermine seafood safety - Food & Water Watch

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will undermine seafood safety in the US, according to Food & Water Watch.

Dubai takes steps to reduce childhood obesity, boost food security

Dubai Municipality is to hold a forum to investigate ways to address the obesity issue among the emirate’s schoolchildren, according to officials.


Goa the go-to state for FSSAI’s community food safety programme

India’s food regulator has singled out Goa as a potentially model state for promoting food safety habits among consumers.

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