China suspends Canadian beef imports due to Mad cow disease concerns

CANADA – The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) has confirmed that China, the meat industry’s third largest global market, has halted imports of beef from Canada following the discovery of a case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, on a farm in Alberta, Canada. BSE is an incurable and invariably fatal neurodegenerative disease of cattle. Symptoms include abnormal behaviour, trouble walking, and weight loss in the animal. Humans who consume affected meat can also suffer with problems such as loss of memory, loss of sight and…

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China’s GM corn, soybean obtain safety approval for production

CHINA – Consequent to nearly 10 years of food and environmental safety assessments, genetically modified (GM) corn and soybean involved in a pilot program in China, have obtained safety certificates for production and application. “The application of traits that resist pests and tolerate herbicides and drought has improved the competitiveness of genetically modified crops, such as corn and soybean, in production cost, price and quality,” Qian Qian, Director of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Institute of Crop Sciences, said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency. Li Xiangju, a…

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Starbucks outlets inspected to verify food safety issues claims

CHINA – Market regulators in eight Chinese cities have carried out inspections of Starbucks shops after food safety issues were found at two outlets in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi. The checks followed a newspaper report by two Beijing News reporters who carried out undercover investigations from late October to mid-November, that alleged the two outlets in Wuxi had used expired ingredients in their drinks. A video posted on Chinese social media platform, Weibo, showed a Starbucks employee changing an expiration date sticker on a chocolate sauce bottle. The…

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CABIO Biotech receives organic certification for products

CHINA – CABIO Biotech, a manufacturer of food additives, has obtained the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Organic certification for its Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Oil, Aquatic plants Seaweed and DHA Algae Oil. It received the notification from organic certification organization Ecocert SA. EcoCert SA is a certification body on sustainable development, founded in France in 1991. It is based in Europe but conducts inspections in over 80 countries, making it one of the largest organic certification organizations in the world. CABIO algae DHA oil is an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty…

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China proposes GM crops regulations amendment to reinforce seed industry

CHINA – China has proposed an amendment of regulations governing genetically modified (GM) crops, in a move that is likely to strengthen the nation’s seed industry amid heightened food security concerns. Ahead of the central economic work conference and rural work conference in the coming month, the Ministry of Agriculture has proposed a series of regulatory changes to boost the competitiveness of China’s seed industry. Beijing last year called for a breakthrough in biotechnology and seed production amid disruptions to food supply caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as…

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China’s anti-triad unit nabs 1700 tonnes smuggled frozen meat

CHINA – Hong Kong’s New Territories North anti-triad unit in cooperation with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, have seized sixty-eight containers with 1,700 tonnes of smuggled frozen meat  worth at least HK$500 million (US$ 64,173,862)  from a container yard on Lung Kwu Tan Road in Tuen Mun. Chief inspector Au Yeung Tak from the New Territories North anti-triad unit, said two modified speedboats – with four to five outboard engines – were seized in the same yard. The container yard owner, surnamed Chow, 40, was arrested on suspicions of…

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Shandong Santao Food upgrades production line by integrating TOMRA’s 5B sorter

CHINA – Shandong Santao Food, one of the leading enterprises in China’s frozen food industry, has selected TOMRA as its partner to upgrade production line automation to ensure quality, improve product value, and build its brand with cutting-edge technology. Prior to the line upgrade, Santao’s production was completely manual, which inevitably had limitations when dealing with large or emergency orders. Due to the strong seasonal characteristics of fruit and vegetable processing, recruitment of workers has become a major difficulty. In addition, the insufficient availability of labor would be even more…

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Hong Kong Consumer Council discover carcinogenic substances in biscuits

CHINA – An analysis by the Hong Kong Consumer Council has found cancer-causing substances in all 60 pre-packaged biscuits tested with a majority displaying misleading nutrition labels. The biscuits contained the genotoxic carcinogens glycidol or acrylamide or both, which are contaminants produced during processing. These cancer-causing contaminants often emerge when processing certain ingredients, such as palm oil, at high temperatures. Among the Top 5 biscuits with the most cancer-causing agents were Malaysian favourites such as Hup Seng Special Cream Crackers, Ritz Crackers Cheese Flavoured Sandwich, Jacob’s Original Cream Crackers 93%…

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China amends law to ensure traceability of food products

CHINA – China has amended its law on the quality and safety of agricultural produce to include a traceability system for edible agricultural products. The draft,  which says that to establish the system, enterprises and farmers’ cooperatives that produce such products should obtain certificates verifying their quality and safety and be responsible for the products they sell, has already been submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) for review. At present, the NPC Standing Committee plays a key role in legislation and has the power to…

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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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