Regulatory review: Hong Kong CBD ban, China’s mass fortification of staples and more

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Hong Kong CBD ban, China’s mass fortification in monthly nutra regulatory round-up

Related tags Fortification Cbd Hong kong 2'-fucosyllactose

In our monthly nutra regulatory round-up, we take a closer look at Hong Kong CBD ban, China’s plans in mass fortification of food staples, Singapore’s launch of food safety standards for online businesses and more.
Hong Kong CBD ban: Difficulty regulating THC cited for blanket ban in foods and supplements​  

The recent official ban of cannabidiol in foods, supplements, and any other products in Hong Kong has been attributed to the difficulty in controlling tetrahydrocannabinol – the psychoactive component in cannabis.

Hong Kong officially categorised cannabidiol (CBD) as a dangerous drug under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance on February 1.

NutraIngredients-Asia ​spoke to experts across the regulatory, business, and scientific aspects, and the control of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in CBD products was a common theme behind the ban.

World-first voluntary guidelines: Singapore introduces food safety standards in the e-commerce space

Singapore has developed a new set of voluntary food safety guidelines for businesses across the food e-commerce supply chain.

The guidelines for food e-commerce were developed by a working group comprised of a government agency, industry associations and private sector players.

Key stages critical to food safety were covered in the guidelines, namely: food business/seller onboarding process, at the point of e-commerce sale, last-mile delivery, at the point of delivery, and traceability and product recall.

Taiwan allows use of 2’-FL fermented from genetically modified strains in special medical infant foods

2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL) fermented using two types of genetically modified E. coli can now be used in infant formula for special medical purposes in Taiwan.

The two genetically modified strains are Escherichia coli (E. coli) BL21 (DE3) #1540 and E. coli K-12 DH1 MDO MAP1001d. These are also the only two strains currently approved by Taiwan’s authorities to ferment 2’-FL.

The ministry said the move was to more effectively regulate non-traditional food raw material and to meet special nutrition needs. 

Fortified future? China set for mass fortification of staple foods to combat deficiencies – consultation open

China is considering mandating mass nutritional fortification for various staple foods in order to boost public health and combat nutrient deficiencies.

The China National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA) has outlined a detailed proposal to mandate the nutritional fortification of a wide variety of staple foods in the country, including food groups such as dairy, rice, wheat flour and vegetable oil.

For instance, it would be compulsory to fortify pasteurised dairy or fermented dairy products with vitamins A and D, rice and wheat with vitamins B1​ and B2​ as well as folic acid, and soy sauce with iron.

New logo mandatory for infant and follow-up formulas sold in Taiwan from 2025

Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) has made it mandatory for infant and follow-up formula sold in the market to be printed with a new logo from January 2025.

The new requirement​, which is part of the “Regulations Governing the Labelling of Infant and Follow-up Formula”, was announced on February 1.

The green and orange coloured logo consists of a woman carrying a baby and comes with the slogans “mother’s breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for infants” and “The Ministry of Health and Welfare cares for you”. 

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