Policy Picks: FSSAI traffic light labelling, Thailand non-alcoholic beer rules, Malaysia sugar tax and more in our policy round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

The FSSAI draft on food labelling regulations including controversial traffic light labelling rules will be soon be released for public comment. ©Getty Images
The FSSAI draft on food labelling regulations including controversial traffic light labelling rules will be soon be released for public comment. ©Getty Images

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FSSAI traffic light labelling, Thailand non-alcoholic beer rules, Malaysia sugar tax and more feature in this edition of Policy Picks.

FSSAI traffic light labelling regulations set for public consultation ‘soon’

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) draft on food labelling regulations including controversial traffic light labelling rules will be soon be released for public comment​, according to an agency official.

The current draft of the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2018 is still at the stakeholder-debate phase.

An expert panel was set up​ last August to review these proposed new food labelling rules, including plans for red labels to be added to products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS).

Beer’ or ‘malt drink’? Thailand examines non-alcoholic governance to avoid legal loophole exploitation

Thailand is putting together a working group to examine the governance of alcohol-free ‘beers’ ​being manufactured and produced by traditional beer breweries, in order to avoid these falling through a possible legislative loophole.

According to Dr Nipon Chinanowet, Director of the Office of Alcohol Control Committee under the Thailand Public Health Ministry Department of Disease Control, this working team would be formed in collaboration with the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Malaysia sugar tax: Implementation postponed to July, limits raised for milk-based drinks

Malaysia has announced the postponement of its sugar tax implementation date by three months​, as well as an increase in the sugar content limit for milk-based beverages.

The sugar tax implementation of RM0.40 (US$0.01) per litre has been delayed to July 1 from its original April 1 enforcement date​.

It encompasses all packaged drinks under tariff heading 22.02 that contain sugar or other sweeteners in levels exceeding 5g per 100ml, as well as fruit and vegetable juices with sugar exceeding 12g per 100ml.

China fights fake food: Authorities vow to 'bankrupt' firms responsible and 'reward' whistle blowers

Chinese authorities are trying to reduce the prevalence of fake food by imposing heavier penalties on manufacturers and sellers​ until "they are made bankrupt".

Zhang Mao, the head of China’s State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) made the point at the press conference for the second session of the 13th​ National People’s Congress. 

“We need to significantly increase the costs of such violations to make violators go bankrupt and publicly list these violators so there is no place for them to hide,”​ he said.

‘Timely’ intervention: Singapore’s food industry 'generally supportive' of trans fat ban

The food industry in Singapore is 'generally supportive' of proposals from the Ministry of Health (MOH) to ban all partially hydrogenated oils (PHO)​, a form of trans fat commonly found in pre-packaged food products, according to a government minister.

The ban was announced earlier this month by Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health during the ministry’s 2019 budget debate.

“We will be introducing a ban on partially-hydrogenated oil (PHO) in our food,”​ said Amin.

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