Safety First: Food safety stories from India, Myanmar, Turkey and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Food safety stories from India, Myanmar, Turkey and more feature in this edition of Safety First. ©Getty Images
Food safety stories from India, Myanmar, Turkey and more feature in this edition of Safety First. ©Getty Images

Related tags Food safety

Food safety stories from India, Myanmar, Turkey and more feature in this edition of Safety First.

Slippery situation: Indian regulator failing to curb spread of margarine-butter fraud

Regulatory inefficiencies in the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have again entered the spotlight after recent government correspondence revealed ‘rampant’ occurrences of margarine masquerading as butter within the F&B industry.

The situation was brought to light after Union minister Nitin Gadkari wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the behest of local dairy farmers protesting that the widespread use of margarine instead of butter in the foodservice, food processing and food manufacturing industries was eating into their livelihoods.

Confidence amid complexity: Pinduoduo and A*STAR seek to improve fresh produce contaminant testing

Chinese e-commerce firm Pinduoduo (PDD) and Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) are developing a cost-effective way of testing for contaminants such as pesticides in fresh produce – in an effort to boost consumer, retailer and manufacturer confidence.

The collaboration first began in April 2020, which was also the time SIFBI was newly established under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore (A*STAR).

The research project aims to leverage machine learning to develop a lower cost, faster, yet accurate method in testing for pesticide residue.

India food fraud alarm: Much more needs to be done if ‘Make in India’ campaign is to succeed

India’s food counterfeit incidents have risen at an ‘alarming rate’ between 2018 and 2019, numbers which will have significantly negative impacts on the country’s ‘Make in India’ campaign if more stringent measures are not taken to control these.

According to the Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA) State of Counterfeiting in India 2020 report, overall counterfeit incidents in India rose by 24% year-on-year between 2018 and 2019, especially the three analysed sectors covering food and beverage items.

“[We found] approximately 249 incidents reported in 2019 across the three [F&B-related] sectors of FMCG (129, including Dairy), Alcohol (103) and Agriculture (17). This was an increase of 21% over 2018 when 206 such incidents  were reported in these sectors,”​ ASPA President Nakul Pasricha told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Aw shucks! Oysters in Myanmar contaminated with human bacterial pathogens, plastic and baby formula

Human bacterial pathogens, plastic, kerosene, paint, talc and even milk powders were some of the contaminants found in oysters collected in Myanmar, a new study reveals.

An international team of researchers from USA, Australia, Monaco and Myanmar identified more than 5,000 human pathogens and more than 1,000 microdebris particles in seawater and oysters from the eastern Andaman Sea of Myanmar.

People living in the rural but densely populated coastal regions in Myanmar depend on artisanal fishing for livelihoods, however with rapid development and coastal urbanisation, comes agriculture and human pollution.

Heavy metal contamination: ‘Serious and remarkable’ concentration of arsenic, lead and cadmium in Turkish fish

Fish caught from the seas surrounding Turkey have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals above the recommended maximum limit, in particular, lead and cadmium.

These findings were significant because heavy metals not only destroys the ecological aquasystem, but also endangers human health.

As a country surrounded by four seas, Turkish people consume about 6kg of fish per year (2018 data), although this was below the average consumption of 24kg in Europe.

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