Regulatory review: Updates from China, New Zealand, India, Thailand

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Health and nutrition regulatory updates from China, New Zealand, India, Thailand

Related tags Folic acid vegan Traceability

China seeking new methods to test laxatives, beta-blockers in health foods, New Zealand industry body objecting government’s recommendations to schedule levomefolate, and India’s mandatory traceability policy on vegan products are some of the latest APAC regulatory developments covered in this round-up.
Uphold safety: China’s SAMR sought public input for methods to test laxatives, beta-blockers in health foods

Chinese regulator State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has sought public input for methods to detect the presence of laxatives and beta-blockers in health foods and general foods.

It is also hoping to find out how new types of laxatives can be detected in fat reduction tea, enzymes, and dried fruit products.

The Food Safety Sampling Inspection and Monitoring Secretariat housed within SAMR will form an expert committee to assess the inputs based on the feasibility and science.

Exports threat: NZ industry body objects government’s recommendation to schedule levomefolate

Trade body Natural Health Products New Zealand (NHPNZ) said it would object the government’s recommendation to schedule products containing over 500mcg of levomefolate as pharmacy-only products, explaining that this could hamper export opportunities.

Levomefolate is a biologically active form of folate. It is found in circulation in the human body and can be utilised directly by the body when consumed.

The Medicines Classification Committee (MCC) formed by the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe) recently put out a proposal to schedule products containing more than 500 mcg levomefolate per day as a pharmacy-only product.

Verifying vegan integrity: India mandates traceability as key criterion for firms to obtain regulatory approval

The Food Safety and Standards Authority India (FSSAI) has specified supply chain traceability up to the manufacturer level as a key criterion for food firms manufacturing vegan products to obtain the relevant regulatory permissions.

International firms looking to bring vegan food products into India will also be affected by this new ruling, as extra documentation will now be required in addition to the general food import licenses and verifications.

The requirements as laid out in the new regulations are effective immediately, although FSSAI has not as yet specified on its portal a full list of guidelines for the vegan logo application and approval or import documentation formats.

Thai cannabis teething troubles: Authorities vow tough approach to food products amid THC concerns

The Thai authorities have stressed that stringent control measures will be enforced as more food and beverage firm seeks to use cannabis-derived ingredients, amid claims that 30% of products contain higher than permitted tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels.

Thailand became the first country in South East Asia to formally legalise the use of cannabis for food-related purposes earlier this year.

The Thai Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) announced earlier this month that cannabis and hemp would be delisted from the Category 5 list of narcotics in the Royal Gazette as controlled substances, legalising the planting, importing, consumption and also usage of these for use in food products, as long as the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content does not exceed 0.2%.

New bacteria under public consultation in China for use in fermented dairy, yogurt

China’s food safety regulator has commenced a public consultation on the use of a new bacteria strain for use in fermented dairy and yogurt products.

The bacteria strain in question is Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, ​which is isolated from traditional fermented dairy products.

It has proposed to recognise the strain as a New Food Raw Material that can be used in foods such as fermented dairy, cheese, fermented milk beverage, and lactic acid bacteria beverage.

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