Policy picks: Philippines rice rules and new Singapore standards in our regulatory round-up

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The Philippines has announced the standardisation of rice labels. ©GettyImages
The Philippines has announced the standardisation of rice labels. ©GettyImages

Related tags Policy Philippines Singapore Standards

We take a look at the latest policy news making the headlines, including new rice rules in the Philippines and stricter managerial standards in Singapore.

‘No more fancy brand names’: Rice labelling and pricing rules introduced in Philippines amid supply crisis

Food companies have been warned to avoid fancy ‘nicknames’ for rice as suggested retail prices (SRPs) are implemented​ in the Philippines, in a move that the government hopes will alleviate the country’s rising food troubles.

The announcement was made by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol via his Facebook page.

Pinol also announced the standardisation of rice labels to ‘regular-milled’, ‘well-milled’, ‘premium’, and ‘special rice’, and that there will be a distinct differentiation between imported and Filipino rice.


Food safety for bosses: Strong managerial commitment now compulsory for new Singapore standards

Increased involvement and commitment of food companies’ upper management in food safety processes​ is now a required factor under the latest 2018 versions of Singapore food safety standards SS444 and SS ISO 22000.

Food safety experts stressed the importance of management playing a more prominent role and in food safety control and processes at the official launch of the updated standards.

According to Linda Quek, Technical Consultant and Auditor at LQ Consult: “There is now a requirement for management to be more involved in food safety [in order to qualify for the SS ISO 22000:2018].”

“Company management will have to demonstrate now a high level of commitment, [and] this therefore has an impact where [management will have to] consider business risk.”


Drinking bottled water does not cause health problems: Abu Dhabi authority

The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority has addressed public fear related to consumption of bottled water.

A video circulated on social media recently claimed that drinking bottled water will lead to a host of health problems, including fatigue, headaches, and compromising the immune system.

In response to public concerns, the authority confirmed that all brands of bottled water on sale in the market were safe for human consumption, local media Gulf News​ reported.  

The authority said that the manufacturers have declared all ingredients used and have complied with the UAE’s labelling regulations.


‘It’s political and not scientific’: Taiwan confirms ‘nuclear food referendum’ to proceed as Japan voices disappointment

Taiwan will hold a referendum on ‘nuclear food’ imports from Japan​ alongside its local elections next month.

This was after strong ‘anti-nuclear food’​ campaigning by the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party resulted in some 470,000 signatures calling for the referendum. Only 280,000 signatures are required to legally hold a referendum.

The referendum will be held on November 24 alongside local elections for municipalities, counties and townships, as announced by the Taiwan Central Election Commission.

If turnout for the referendum reaches 25%, which is highly likely due to it being held alongside local elections, the results will be considered legal.

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