Vegan Foods

Regulatory updates from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and more

‘Nutrition enforcement’: Malaysia officially updates soft drink rules amid series of labeling updates

The Malaysian government has officially released new labeling restrictions for non-alcoholic beverages and updated specific ingredient content and nutrient claims for all foods and beverages.

The updates to the labeling standards were put in place two years ago in 2020 when the then Minister of Health, Dato’ Sri Dr Adham Baba, still held the post, but were not only recently published and officially included in Malaysian food regulations. .

Since July 2022, the post of Minister of Health has been held by former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin.

For non-alcoholic beverages, the most notable regulation that manufacturers should note is that all de-alcoholized beverages – that is, those produced with alcohol that is then removed from the product to make it non-alcoholic – are only not permitted to use any of the standard non-alcoholic claims on the label in order to ‘avoid consuming consumers’​.

Clear and present labels: Thailand mandates GMO declarations in latest update of food labeling regulations

The Thai government has announced several updates to national food labeling regulations, with food companies required to declare any use of genetically modified ingredients on food labels.

Previously, Thailand had no specific regulations in place to govern the labeling of genetically modified ingredients on food packaging, but recently the Thai Ministry of Public Health announced that all food manufacturers handling GM products must now declare their use of these on their labels.

“The clear statement ‘genetically modified’ must be declared next to the name of the food on the label if the product contains only one ingredient, and if it uses more than one of these ingredients, these must also be clearly declared accordingly next to each ingredient.”Thailand’s Deputy Minister of Public Health, Dr Satit Pitutecha, said via an official statement.

Ensuring Food Safety in Indonesia: Government Tightens Rules on Heavy Metal Contamination in Processed Foods

The Indonesian government has announced new, more stringent regulations to control heavy metal contamination of processed foods within the local food supply, in response to growing consumer concerns.

Indonesia has seen increasing industrial activity such as the development of reservoirs in recent years, which has led to growing concerns about the leaching of heavy metals into waterways and the general environment.

With concerns surfacing among consumers on social media, the government has sought to allay those fears and another recent decision was taken recently by the National Drug and Food Control Agency (Badan Pengawas Obat dan Makanan, BPOM ), which published a notice of adjustment the limits of heavy metals authorized in processed foods must be applied over 12 months.

“In order to protect the community from contamination of the food supply and to increase the competitiveness of Indonesian processed food products, heavy metals are a key area of ​​governance,”BPOM manager Penny Lukito said via an official statement.

Vegan integrity check: India mandates traceability as key criteria for companies to gain regulatory approval

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

Specific regulations to govern vegan foods and beverages have been in the works since last year, when the FSSAI issued a notification on a draft regulation specifying the creation of a new logo specifically for vegan foods in addition to requirements for labeling and display.

Earlier this year, the agency implemented the enforcement of new vegan regulations with immediate effect, but with an interesting addition, which was the requirement for traceability within the production value chain of all foods and beverages seeking to make the vegan claim.

“There must be traceability established down to the manufacturer level, and the [relevant food firm] must comply with any other requirements specified by the Food Authority to maintain the vegan integrity of foods or food ingredients or products,”FSSAI CEO Arun Singhal said via an official statement.

Update on GM Foods in Japan: Stricter Labeling Regulations for Products Containing GM Components

Japan has updated its labeling regulations for foods containing genetically modified components and will adopt an updated national “non-GM” labeling system in 2023.

Earlier this year, the Local Consumer Agency (CAA) published documentation announcing that nine main agricultural products are now subject to mandatory GMO labeling (up from the previous eight), as are processed foods that use them. as ingredients.

“In Japan, the nine main agricultural products that are now subject to mandatory GMO labeling are soybeans, corn, potatoes, rapeseed, cottonseed, alfalfa, sugar beet, papaya and mustard leaves – [mustard greens] are the latest addition to this list as GM mustard greens recently received approval and the green light from authorities for sale in Japan,”CAA said via an official statement.