Safety First: China food safety rules, Alibaba's food safety solutions search and Bangladesh's dairy investigation feature in our food safety round-up
China unveils the first set of food safety tasks for local government
China’s local government will be held accountable for ensuring food safety in their area of administration for the first time, according to a new set of guidelines.
The guidelines have specified the roles that the local government should play and how they will be supervised..
For example, the local government are expected to lead food safety efforts, devise solutions, and report on their progress.
In a media conference, China’s State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) explained that while food safety efforts had increased throughout the years, there were still challenges faced, and thus there was a need to build a system of accountability in promoting food safety.
AI for food safety: Innovators urged to find solutions via Alibaba’s Tianchi platform
Artificial intelligence (AI) experts from around the globe are being invited to compete in search of food safety solutions, such as foodborne disease outbreaks, food fraud or product recalls.
Co-organised by Buhler, ID Capital and Alibaba’s cloud computing arm Alibaba Cloud as part of this year’s Future Food Asia contest, the participants will be competing via Tianchi, which is Alibaba Cloud’s global big data crowd intelligence platform.
This is the first time a Tianchi challenge has been hosted in Asia outside of China.
“This contest [is also] the first Alibaba Cloud’s Tianchi competition worldwide catering to the agrifood sector,” said Leon Chen, Country Manager Singapore, Alibaba Cloud during the event launch.
“Within the current Tianchi community, there are more than 270,000 developers and scientists from 93 countries and regions.
“Through competitions, Tianchi pools the wisdom of experts from around the world and leverages the expertise of the Alibaba Cloud Intelligence solutions to help entities in different sectors address real-world challenges.”
Dangerous dairy: Bangladesh High Court orders investigation into adulterated milk products in the country
The Bangladesh High court has directed a host of governmental authorities to conduct an investigational survey into the level of adulteration in the country’s dairy industry.
Cow milk, dairy products and cattle feed will all be subject to the survey, which was ordered by the High Court bench of Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice K M Hafizul Alam, according to Dhaka Tribune.
The authorities that have been named as respondents in this investigation include the government secretaries of food, health, agriculture, fisheries and livestock, cabinet secretaries, members of the Central Food Safety Management Coordination Committee, all members of the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority and the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) chairman.
Food traceability efforts hampered by information gap and lack of harmonised standards: Chinese authority
Food traceability efforts in China are being hindered by challenges arising from information gaps, the absence of harmonised standards, and the lack of policies to support tracking efforts.
These issues were brought up by Yang Peijun, the vice-chairman of Autonomous Region People’s Government in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Regions, during the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) that kicked off on Sunday (March 3) in Beijing.
Examples of these issues were: coordination and planning efforts were lagging behind, while administrations from different regions are unable to share information related to food traceability.
There was also a gap in the traceability process, which in turn affected the ability to supervise the entire supply chain.
Misleading free-from labels: Indian regulator FSSAI to set standards for gluten-free claims
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will be coming up with directives on the labelling of gluten-free products, amid concerns current practices from some manufacturers risk misleading consumers.
“FSSAI is also considering removing of low gluten foods category where foods are specially processed to reduce gluten content to a level 20-100mg/kg and its labelling provisions, as low gluten foods also poses a risk to people with celiac disease. These will be notified soon,” an FSSAI official said in response to queries from FoodNavigator-Asia.
As for the people who will be involved in the drafting of the directives, the official said there are members who are experts in specific domains in FSSAI’s Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels.