Nigeria’s biotech stakeholders push for alliances in genome-editing research

NIGERIA –  Nigeria’s biotechnology stakeholders have challenged local experts to forge stronger ties and collaborations in hastening genome-editing research whose results carry enormous prospects to solve regional problems. In a joint communique, the stakeholders affirmed the benefits of genome editing in improving food security and nutrition in Nigeria and the region. The statement, signed and adopted by 17 biotechnologists, has proposed a raft of measures aimed at facilitating efficient acceptance and utilization of this technology and its products. The biotechnologists are calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to sustain…

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FDA introduces new Office of Digital Transformation to back its public health mission

U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the reorganization of the agency’s information technology (IT), data management and cybersecurity functions into the new Office of Digital Transformation (ODT), to better assure the safety of the nation’s food. The office has been realigned to report directly to the FDA commissioner, buoying up the office and its functions to agency-level. This reorganization will advance the agency’s information technology transformation with improved data and IT competencies that improve agency operations to support the public health mission. The restructuring is…

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Study finds more labeling information increases purchasing appeal of GM foods

CHINA – Chinese researchers have found that increasing the information in labels of Genetically Modified Foods (GMF) can increase the consumers’ willingness to buy them as they will be more informed about the benefits attributed to the GMFs. Most current studies have confirmed that the consumer attitudes and purchase intention toward GMFs are not good. The study was conducted to match the consumers’ different information processing mechanisms by adding marketing information clues and regulating their purchase intentions by contradictory attitudes towards GMFs. The marketing clue information was divided into two…

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National Farmers Union urges UK government to back British products

U.K – The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has called on the government to introduce more precise labeling on country of origin and “Buy British” filters for online grocery shopping so as to support the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) farming industry. This is in a report where it urges the government to complete a comprehensive report on UK food security later this year – the first for more than a decade. The union also sets out how it believes the UK can reduce its reliance on imported food by harnessing the opportunities…

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South Africa’s food inspectors hunt down misleading food labelling culprits

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s  Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (agriculture department) has directed food inspectors and those of designated assignees to follow up on misleading or incorrect food labelling in terms of the Agricultural Product Standards Act (APS Act) of 1990. The notice overturns a previous instruction, that had inspectors ignore such labelling, emanating from a 2020 meeting between the Directorate of Food Safety and Quality Assurance of the department and the head of the trademarks division at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC).…

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NAFDAC urges export traders to ensure registration of products

NIGERIA – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has at a one-day South-East Stakeholders’ Sensitization on Registration and Guidelines for Export Trade held in Enugu, counselled export stakeholders to endeavor to seek proper registration of their products to prevent their rejection. The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, represented by the Director, South-East Zonal Office of the agency, Mrs. Olajumoke Ojetokun, said that NAFDAC offices are open for free counselling and guidance to help exporters get it right. She admonished exporters to make use of…

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Nigeria risks surge in substandard products as AfCFTA implementation commences

NIGERIA – Nigeria may be at risk of becoming a hub for substandard products especially with the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which has opened more doors for goods within Africa to come into the country. For years, one of the major regulators of standards in the country, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has been ejected from Nigerian seaports. The Federal government in 2012 banned SON from carrying out the inspection of products that come into the country at the ports, giving reasons that the…

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NRA names John Zimmermann as 2021 Outstanding Food Safety Leader

U.S – The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has named John Zimmermann, Vice President of quality assurance and food safety at First Watch Restaurants, as the 2021 Outstanding Food Safety Leader. The award recognizes an individual’s dedication to food safety through personal and career accomplishments such as improving food safety systems or processes, introducing innovations to manage food supplies or foodservice operations, or mentoring other foodservice professionals. This year, the award also acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of food safety leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Restaurant Association is a restaurant…

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FSSAI issues draft document on vegan foods regulations

INDIA – India’s regulatory watchdog, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued draft Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations, 2021, outlining vegan foods and stating compliance requirements in regards to labeling, packaging and a logo exclusively meant for vegan food products. FSSAI’s draft regulations define ‘Vegan Food’ as “ those foods or food ingredients that have not made use of any ingredients, additives and processing aids of animal origin including milk and milk products, fish, poultry and meat, egg or egg products, honey or honey…

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GFSI adds 6 industry experts to its Steering Committee

GLOBAL – The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) has announced the addition of 6 industry experts to its Steering Committee including several new retail members, a step that will strengthen GFSI’s governance and help add important voices to the development of GFSI’s global strategy. GFSI is a CEO-led Coalition of Action from The Consumer Goods Forum, bringing together 38 retailers and manufacturers and an extended food safety community to help oversee food safety standards for businesses and help provide access to safe food for people everywhere. The Steering Committee members…

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