Policy Picks: Liquor adulterators prosecuted under NSA in India, China's national health guidelines, Thai GMO rules and more feature in our round-up

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Liquor adulteration prosecution under NSA in India, China's national health guidelines, Thai GMO regulations and more feature in this edition of Policy Picks. ©Getty Images
Liquor adulteration prosecution under NSA in India, China's national health guidelines, Thai GMO regulations and more feature in this edition of Policy Picks. ©Getty Images

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Liquor adulteration prosecution under NSA in India, China's national health guidelines, Thai GMO regulations and more feature in this edition of Policy Picks.

‘Culpable to homicide’: India to prosecute liquor adulterators under National Security Act

The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has passed several amendments to penalties for offenders involved in liquor adulteration, including prosecution under the National Security Act (NSA) and Gangster Act​.

In a press conference after the state government’s Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Principal Secretary (Excise) Sanjay Bhoosreddy said that ‘stringent laws’​ would now be in place to punishing all individuals involved in liquor adulteration.

“Under the new law, licence[s] will be cancelled in the first instance and a case will be registered under sections 272, 273 and 304 of the Indian Penal Code against the [accused]. The Excise department will [also] register cases under the NSA and Gangster Act,”​ he said.

Healthy China: Ambitious plans to cut dietary oil, salt and sugar intake nationwide by 2030

China’s national health strategy guidelines, dubbed the ‘Healthy China Movement’, has announced ambitious goals of cutting dietary oil, salt and sugar nationwide by 2030​, in tandem with the overarching ‘Healthy China 2030’ initiative.

Directors from the Healthy China Movement committee revealed that the goal was to cut salt consumption by some 50%, oil consumption by 30% to 40%, and sugar consumption by at least 17% from 2012 numbers.

This would mean a daily consumption of 5g salt per person in 2030 vs 10.5g on average in 2012, 25g-30g oil per person in 2030 vs 42.1g previously, and not more than 25g sugar per person in 2030 vs 30g previously.

“Our main focus in this action plan will be on the Three Reductions: Salt reduction, Oil reduction and Sugar reduction,”​ said Director of National Institute for Nutrition and Health of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention Dr Ding Gangqiang.

Biosafety governance: Thailand’s GMO regulation draft to cover full spectrum of plant, microorganism and animal products

Thailand has drafted a new set of regulations for comments, targeting food and food products containing or consisting of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)​, which covers the entire spectrum across plant, microorganism and animal-based foods.

The regulations draft was submitted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) across two separate notifications, declaring that if passed, these regulations would affect all of regions and countries that partake in trade activities with Thailand.

In both notifications, the Thai FDA said that this measure was being put into place ‘in order to ensure the high level of protection of human health and consumer's concerns while providing fair marketing​’.

“Prescribed foods containing or produced from GMOs (Genetically Modified Foods or GMFs) have not undergone food safety assessment yet which are prohibited to be produced, imported or sold in the country,”​ said the Thai FDA via official documentation.

Thai durian peril? Local industry cries foul at China’s new GMP requirements

Fruit companies in Thailand are feeling the heat after China introduced new requirements for durian imports from the country to come with a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification, claiming that this would both negatively affect export volumes and drive down retail prices​.

The Chinese government implemented the GMP certification as a requirement for all durian imports originating from Thailand in 2018, after it was revealed that China had issued over 1,700 notices to the latter for the discovery of pesticides in durians and relevant products, according to BenarNews.

This requires a certificate of quality from the Thai Department of Agriculture, in addition to various documents to ascertain chemical use, soil quality control, water use, and more, which ‘not many traders’ ​in the region are likely to have.

Watch: Sugar taxes – the case in favour: “Enormous evidence of success”

Sugar sweetened beverages are one of very few “clearly unhealthy products” that are readily promoted to children and “significantly contribute” to poorer health outcomes as people age, according to a leading health consultant.

Dan Hunt made the case in favour of taxation on sugar sweetened beverages​ in a head-to-head debate with Australian Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker at our recent Healthy Ageing APAC Summit in Singapore.

We caught up with Hunt after he stepped off stage to get his key takeaways on camera.

Hunt claims there is a wealth of scientific evidence linking sugar sweetened beverage intake with poor health outcomes and the risk of obesity.

Watch: Sugar taxes - the case against: ‘Simply slapping on a tax is misguided’

Simply “slapping on” a sugar tax to sugar sweetened beverage tax to tackle obesity, diabetes and improving long-term health outcomes when Asia’s ageing population reaches its senior years is misguided, according to the CEO of the Australian Beverages Council.

Geoff Parker made the case against taxation​ in a head-to-head debate with health policy consultant Dan Hunt at our recent Healthy Ageing APAC Summit in Singapore.

We caught up with Parker after he stepped off stage to get his key takeaways on camera.

In the video he discusses that focusing on one “small element”​ of the diet, such as sugar, is misguided when it comes to improving public health outcomes.

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