Editor's Spotlight

Regulatory Review: Dairy ban and diet pills in India, health claims in Singapore, and Nestlé's infant formula controversy

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Regulatory Review: Dairy ban and diet pills in India, health claims in Singapore, and Nestlé's infant formula controversy

Related tags Singapore India Infant formula Fortification Health claims

Read about food fortification, illegal diet pills and an 11-year-old dairy ban in India, health claims under scrutiny in Singapore, and yet more infant formula controversy plaguing Nestlé in our news regulatory round-up.

India's ban on China formula: Industry expert frowns upon regulator's call to extend 11-year-old restrictions

Indian regulator, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has urged the government to again extend its 11-year-old ban​ on Chinese milk products until labs at Indian ports have been upgraded for melamine testing.

The ban, which was first imposed by the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry's General Directorate of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in September 2008, was brought about by the infamous and tragic melamine milk scandal in China that killed six infants and put 54,000 in hospital.

The initial ban was to last three months as an interim measure, but a notice issued on December 1, 2008 said the ban would be extended for another six months to June 23, 2009.

'Affordable fortification': Indian supplier gets government contract to produce fortified rice for Kerala

India's SupplyCo has received a government contract​ to produce and provide fortified rice in Kerala, after figures revealed that 19.7% of children below the age of five are stunted and 15.7% are underweight.

This initiative — which is being launched on a pilot basis — is part of the government's Poshan Abhiyan scheme, which aims to reduce the incidence of stunting in children from birth to the age of six. The firm will receive technical support from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the state's Office of the Commissioner of Food Safety.

This comes just after the government issued an order requiring every state in India to provide fortified rice to anganwandis​, or rural childcare centres.

Singapore health claims reform? Regulator and trade body express contrasting views on possible 'gaps' in laws

Local authorities may soon address possible 'gaps' in Singapore's legislation​ regarding and healthy food products, with regulator Singapore Food Agency (SFA) commissioning a study to assess its rules regime.

In February, the SFA — then known as the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) — issued a tender calling for a third party to conduct research into Singapore's regulatory landscape in order to assess where it might be lacking when it comes to health claims.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​, the SFA said: "To meet consumer demand for preventative healthcare, industry has been innovating food products with ingredients typically used in health supplements. These products fall between the food and complementary health product categories, and are referred to as 'grey area' products."

'Complacency' hindering regulation? FSSAI questioned as 'illegal' keto diet pills pop up online

Allegedly 'illegal' keto diet pills being sold online in India has seen regulator FSSAI's authority and competence called into question​, with concerns that it is not doing enough to protect consumers.

A Mumbai-based food technologist known only as Sharadha G had reportedly decided to find out more after a week of repeatedly seeing Facebook advertisements for a keto supplement sold on Amazon.

Subsequently, she tweeted that the product was "flouting all possible rules" ​of the FSSAI, as it contained "unapproved ingredients"​, had "no licence number"​, and had an "undeclared shelf life"​.

Nestlé held to account over infant formula inaction and using science as 'marketing tool'

A report claims that Nestlé failed to act​ on criticisms of its baby milk formula products and their composition in an investigation that also accuses the food giants of inaction over previous vows.

Changing Markets Foundation and SumOfUs made available its findings​ that accuse the firm of continuing to provide contradictory advice or use claims prohibited by the World Health Organization (WHO) Marketing Code.

This is despite commitments made by the company following a report​ by Changing Markets and the NGO Globalization Monitor in February 2018, which looked at Nestlé's products and nutritional claims in over 40 countries.

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