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Food safety

High profile food scares have turned the spotlight on food safety in Asia. While new regulations are coming into force, consumers and exporters seek assurances of product safety as contamination can have dire consequences all around the world.

Sydney oysters found to act as sensitive contamination indicators

Sydney rock oysters could have a role as biomonitors of the health of waterways, acting as sensitive indicators of harmful levels of contaminants in water and sediments.

News in brief

DPHP found in tubed drinking glasses

Drinking straws shaped as glasses have been recalled in more than 20 countries including Ireland because Di(2-Propyl Heptyl) phthalate (DPHP) was detected.

Pollution

China in a battle to save its farmland

Mainland China has a nation-threatening soil pollution problem, with areas equivalent to double the size of Spain covered in polluted soil, a government survey has revealed.

FSANZ toughens stance on cyanide harm from apricot kernels

Food Standards Australia New Zealand, the industry regulator in the Antipodes, has strengthened its cautionary stance on raw apricot kernels following findings showing that eating the seeds could pose a...

Fake duck blood investigation leads to more Chinese consumer anger

The exposure by a Chinese newspaper of a family-run business that has been selling fake duck blood laced with artificial additives has brought about a fresh wave of concern among...

Key Insights from Food Vision

Food Vision 2014: Bridge knowledge gaps, overcome change and work sustainably

What is the future of food? Simple communication of complex advances will be crucial, as well as picking up the pace amid a global population boom to feed the world...

Fonterra fined NZ$300k for WPC food safety failings

Fonterra has been fined NZ$300,000 (US$256k, €187k) by a New Zealand court after admitting four food safety violations relating to last year's whey protein concentrate (WPC) recall.

Fonterra budgets NZ$11m for Danone WPC recall lawsuit

Fonterra has budgeted for a payout of just NZ$11m ($9.5m, €6.85m) in its ongoing legal battle with Danone over last year’s whey protein concentrate (WPC) botulism scare.

Doctors fear drop in breastfeeding if formula firms policed themselves

Fearful of a drop in breastfeeding rates now that the Australian government has scrapped an independent panel that overseas on the proper use of breast milk substitutes, doctors are calling...

Survey finds increasing detection of GMOs in traded food

As more genetically modified crops are being grown around the globe, the number of incidents of low levels of GMOs is being detected in traded food and feed, according to...

Fonterra to plead guilty to botulism scare charges

Fonterra, the world’s biggest dairy company, has indicated that it will plead guilty to charges following and investigation by New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries into events leading up to...

Court-appointed panel split over junk food ban near schools

Banning junk food near schools, one of India’s biggest and long-running public health issues, seems like it will continue some more after industry officials and health activists on a court–appointed...

NZ health groups call for reduced salt in junk food

Fast food firms are being urged by health groups in New Zealand to reduce salt content in their foods to reduce the incidence of cardiac diseases in the country. 

No GM staple foods approved in China, says agri minister

China has not given any approvals for the commercial production of genetically modified staple foods, the country’s agriculture minister has said.

High consumption of omega-3 fish oils may reduce artery calcification

An intake of omega-3 fatty acids comparable to those of people living in Japan may be linked to protection against artery calcification and heart disease, according to new research.

Australia warns Indian exporters over breaches in processed food laws

Australia’s agriculture department has sent an advisory to India’s agri-export authority over repeated violation of laws governing processed food exports to the country.

Is methane from palm oil waste the next industry climate concern?

While the debate about deforestation due to palm oil rumbles on, new research has suggested that the release of methane from palm oil processing wastewater may also be a significant...

‘Misleading’ herbal medicine labels are not necessary wrong

Australia’s Complementary Healthcare Council has responded to a raft of media articles about alleged mislabelling of complementary medicines by pointing to the strict regulations herbal products must adhere to in...

Could airport imaging be used to assess food quality?

Scientists from the University of Western Australia are developing rapid and non-destructive ways to assess the quality of food that they say will deliver significant benefits to industry. 

India launches homegrown quick test for food contamination

India’s health ministry has launched a kit that will determine the cause of food poisoning outbreaks faster and more cost-effectively than established foreign imports, it claims. 

New bird flu strain poses no threat to poultry populations

Human patients infected with the A(H7N9) strain of avian influenza are not able transmit the virus to animals, including birds, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation....

Cut and reduce sugar in drinks, don’t tax them, say NZ adults

Most adult New Zealanders prefer to reduce the amount of sugar in drinks and also their size to imposing a sugar tax to deter their demand, a new survey has...

NZ to improve dairy traceability after Fonterra scare

In the wake of last year’s Fonterra whey protein concentrate (WPC) incident, the New Zealand government has established a working group designed to improve traceability in the country’s dairy sector....

Two in three Hong Kong nutrition labels breaking guidelines

Nearly two-thirds of nutrition labels on a range of small pre-packaged food and drinks in Hong Kong are breaking trading guidelines by not being easy enough to read.

Indian court stays FSSAI action on product approvals

One of India’s highest courts delivered a split verdict on whether the country’s relatively new food regulator had the right to subject existing products to its approval process. ...

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