SINGAPORE – Singaporean officials have shared updates on the long-anticipated Food Safety and Security Bill, an initiative first introduced in 2021.
This comprehensive legislation, aimed at regulating novel food innovations, including cultured meat, while intensifying efforts to prevent foodborne illnesses, represents a pivotal moment in Singapore’s commitment to food safety and security.
Singapore, known for its progressive approach to emerging technologies, is at the forefront of embracing novel food innovations.
The proposed bill, slated to merge eight existing food provisions into a single food safety act, aims to provide legal clarity for advancements like cell-based meat and gene-edited crops.
With this legislation, the nation sets a precedent for the regulation of innovative foods, ensuring consumer safety while fostering groundbreaking technologies.
Central to the bill’s objectives is the enhancement of food safety systems and processes, both for novel and traditional foods.
By bolstering requirements and standards, Singapore intends to create a robust framework that safeguards the nation’s food supply.
Additionally, the bill aims to increase food security by mandating rice suppliers to maintain stockpiles of this essential staple, a strategic move to ensure a stable food supply chain.
National Center for Food Science
Singapore’s commitment to food safety is further exemplified by the establishment of the new National Center for Food Science.
Unveiled at the opening ceremony by Singapore’s Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Grace Fu, this state-of-the-art facility consolidates the efforts of the Singapore Food Agency’s existing food safety and science labs.
By streamlining operations and enhancing accessibility for inspectors, the center promises efficient sample testing, critical for ensuring food safety standards.
The National Center for Food Science is set to play a pivotal role as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Food Contamination Monitoring.
Embracing advanced technologies such as whole genome sequencing (WGS), the center aims to proactively prevent and manage foodborne illness outbreaks.
Additionally, the center’s commitment to testing seafood imports from Japan for radioactive contamination underscores Singapore’s dedication to global food safety standards, especially in light of recent concerns regarding wastewater release from a closed nuclear plant in Japan.