Safety First: GM labelling, omega-3 adulteration, wine traceability and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

GM labelling, omega-3 adulteration, wine traceability and more feature in this edition of Safety First. ©Getty Images
GM labelling, omega-3 adulteration, wine traceability and more feature in this edition of Safety First. ©Getty Images

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Chinese consumers and GM labelling, widespread omega-3 adulteration found on e-commerce sites, new no-fail wine traceability technology and more feature in this edition of Safety First.

GM labelling: Chinese consumers willing to pay for traceability codes and allergen presence for soybean oil – Survey

Chinese consumers are willing to pay more for the enhanced mandatory labelling of genetically modified (GM) soybean oil, according to new data funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Results showed that 62% of consumers were in favour of the enhanced mandatory labelling of GM soybean oil, and they were willing to pay for traceability codes, followed by allergen presence, and nutrient and compositional change.

China currently adopts mandatory labelling for 17 GM products including soybeans, corn, cotton, and tomato which only indicates its GM status. However, this merely differentiates GM foods from non-GM food products.

Omega-3 adulteration: Almost half of products bought on Asian e-commerce sites fail to meet single species label claims

Nine out of 19 omega-3 products that were bought through prominent Asian e-commerce sites and marketed as containing a single species, did not contain the ingredients declared on the labels, according to new data.

The products were purchased through either Tmall or the Lazada by Norwegian laboratory and authentication technology company ORIVO.

They selected products that were specifically claiming that the omega-3 source was based on a single-species and/or a specific geographic location. 

Nine out of 19 products, including those claiming to be 100% salmon, krill and cod oils, did not meet the label claims.

No Sour Grapes: Aussie team’s new technique has 100% success rate in determining wine’s origin

Just as the man made globally famous by a Netflix documentary outlining how he conned wine collectors out of millions of dollars was deported to his native Indonesia, a team of scientists from Australia believe they have found a fast and simple method of authenticating wine and ending global wine fraud.

Rudy Kurniawan was deported from the United States to Jakarta last week after spending seven years in prison after prosecutors said he made millions of dollars from 2004 to 2012 by putting less-expensive Napa and Burgundy wines into counterfeit bottles at his home in Los Angeles.

The scheme was recounted in the 2016 Netflix documentary Sour Grapes. ​In all, Kurniawan may have sold as many as 12,000 bottles of counterfeit wine, many of which may still remain in collections. He was ordered to pay US$37 million in restitution to seven victims and to forfeit US$26 million in property.

In Adelaide, researchers have developed a means to authenticate wine that could put an end to the billion-dollars trade in counterfeit bottles and stop budding Kurniawans in their tracks.

Japan nuclear monitoring: Tests show radioactivity concentration decreased in most foods products within five years

Monitoring tests of Japan’s food products after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident showed that drinking water, milk and infant food were within the radioactivity concentration limits after five years, but some samples from the wild animal meat and agricultural categories still showed high radioactivity.

The Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident occurred in March 2011, releasing radionuclides into the environment.

In 2012, the government set standard limits for radionuclide in foods, specifically radioactive cesium. The limits were set at 10 Bq/kg for drinking water, 50 Bq/kg for milk and infant food, and 100 Bq/kg for general foods which includes wild animal meat, fishery and agriculture.

Based on these standard limits, local governments in 17 prefectures have conducted their own monitoring tests, to ensure that foods exceeding the standard limit are not distributed, recalled, and disposed.

South Korea’s krill oil complaints: Vegetable oil found in products claimed to be ‘100% krill oil’

South Korean authorities say that a number of products which claimed to be “100 per cent” krill oil, actually contained vegetable oil and other blends of oils and fats.

The issue came to light during a joint inspection conducted by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) and Korea Consumer Agency (KCA).

The two conducted inspection on the quality, safety, and labelling of 26 products claimed to be 100 per cent krill oil and are the top 20 best sellers on the Naver Shopping website. Of these, four were found to contain linoleic acid fatty acids present in vegetable oil and other types of oils and fats.

The four products are “10 seconds Krill oil” (녹십초크릴오일), “Meat Krill Oil Max” (미프 크릴오일 맥스), “Krill oil 1000” (크릴오일 1000), and “Premium Reel Med Krill Oil 58” (프리미엄 리얼메디 크릴오일 58).

They were found to contain linoleic acid in the range of 27.6 per cent and 28 per cent, while the permitted linoleic acid level according to the CODEX standard is between 0.0 and 3.0 per cent.

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