UK, New Zealand strike deal to give way to more seamless trade

U.K/NEW ZEALAND – Following 16 months of trade talks, United Kingdom and New Zealand have signed a pact that will circumvent bureaucratic obstacles that have previously impeded trade between the two countries. The British government is claiming the deal will “cut red tape” for businesses, suggesting there might be some harmonization of standards. It also claims the deal will bring a halt to tariffs for UK exporters and make it easier for UK professionals to work in New Zealand. The second post-Brexit trade deal was agreed in a video call…

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Study reveals contamination of UK prawns with Vibrio

UK – A study by Quadram Institute researchers has revealed that a majority of UK prawns surveyed are contaminated with Vibrio, a gram-negative bacterium associated with consumption of undercooked  seafood, with shell-on prawns more likely to be contaminated than peeled prawns. The researchers have conducted the survey in an effort to understand the bacterium’s potential contribution to human disease and its resistance to antibiotics. They discovered that whilst 46 percent of prawns were contaminated with Vibrio, the specific strains of bacteria identified found pose no immediate risk to food safety…

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UK’s allergen labeling policy Natasha’s law finally comes into force

UK – UK industry’s first food allergen labeling policy, popularly known as Natasha’s Law, meant to help people suffering from food allergies, intolerances and coeliac disease make safer choices when buying food, has finally come into effect. The new policy, which was introduced after Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died as a direct result of the consumption of a pre-packaged baguette which contained sesame seeds but did not declare allergens on its packaging, compels businesses to label all food that is prepacked for direct sale with a full list of ingredients. The list…

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UK confirms positive case of BSE in cattle herd

UK – The United Kingdom (UK) has confirmed a positive case of classical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in its cattle herd, joining Brazil which confirmed two cases earlier this month subsequent to laboratory testing. BSE is a brain disorder in adult cattle that may be spread to humans through diseased meat. The disease was detected in a six-year-old dairy cow from the county of Somerset. The cow was in-calf and close to calving, and the farmer had noticed abnormal behavior including abnormal head carriage, knuckling of fetlocks and aggression. The…

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UK pushes compliance with Export Health Certificates requirement deadline further

UK – The UK Government has announced a revised timetable for the introduction of border controls and checks for goods arriving from the European Union (EU), just two weeks ahead of the expected introduction of new rules for imports owing to Covid disruption and pressure on global supply chains. Under the “original” timeline which had earlier been revised in March 2021, firms importing products of animal origin and certain animal by-products ,including meat and dairy products, would have been required to obtain export health certificates from 1 October 2021. The…

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UK to assent use of gene editing in agriculture following exit from EU

UK – The United Kingdom (UK) government is set to  greenlight the use of gene editing in agriculture which could see altered produce on the supermarket shelves in five years’ time. The move will mark the biggest divergence by the UK away from existing European laws since leaving the European Union (EU), which has banned the technique for years amid fears it is unsafe. Gene editing involves the technique of replacing genes that govern certain traits, such as water dependency, disease resistance and nutrition with better-functioning ones from the same…

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Bia Analytical expands range of authenticity tests to encompass white pepper

UK – Bia Analytical, a leading UK food authentication testing lab, will now test for adulteration within white pepper alongside the other nine herbs it currently analyses, after several prominent cases of food fraud including sage and oregano. White Pepper, in like manner to Black Pepper, is made from the berries of the pepper plant, originating in India and cultivated in many other tropical regions. Although derived from the same plant, White Pepper comes from berries that are picked at full ripeness then soaked in water leading to fermentation. The…

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UK academics call for pooling of data to digitally transform food systems

UK – Scholars have called for the establishment of a pilot food standards trust framework to test the power of data trust frameworks designed to address food standards compliance issues. In an article co-written for Nature magazine with academics from a number of UK universities, Andrew McMillan of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, highlighted the potential for a “digitally transformed food system” to be enabled through mechanisms such as data trusts, which  envisage independent stewardship of data through a legal structure that both allows for the pooling of…

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SecQuAL Project awarded funding by ISCF to enable smart labelling in pork production

UK – A group of eleven UK companies has been awarded funding by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), a government project that addresses the big societal challenges being faced by UK businesses, for their project Secure Quality Assured Logistics for Digital Food Ecosystems ( SecQuAL), designed to bring technology to the fore in the farm-to-fork ecosystem.  The project will initially focus on the application of smart labels in pork production, in order to reduce food waste and increase consumer confidence in the food they purchase. Smart labels are unique…

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FSA puts out revised Food Law Code of Practice, introduces Competency Framework in Wales

UK – The Food Standards Agency (FSA), a UK-based regulatory body, has published the revised Food Law Code of Practice and Food Law Practice Guidance and introduced a Competency Framework in Wales, following consultation in December 2020. The Code provides statutory guidance to local authorities (LAs) and port health authorities (PHAs) on the approach they should take to regulate food businesses. The FSA has reviewed and revised the Code, taking into account the responses to the recent consultation, and ensuring that the Code reflects current priorities, policy, and legislative requirements…

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