ILSI Southeast Asia Region NewsFlash - bringing you monthly news and information on nutrition and food safety issues relevant to our region
Nutrition, Food Safety and Health





On September 17-19, 2014, LSI Southeast Asia Region in collaboration with the Food and Drug Department (FDD), Ministry of Health, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), organized the 11th ASEAN Food Safety Standards Harmonization Workshop in Vientiane, Lao PDR. This is a continuation of ILSI Southeast Asia Region's continuing initiative in lending support to ongoing food safety standards harmonization efforts within ASEAN, by identifying relevant technical needs and scientific data gaps. The workshop was attended by a total of 32 representatives from food safety agencies in ASEAN Member States, scientific experts from Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan and the USA, as well as ILSI SEA Region Food and Water Safety Cluster Members (as observers). A delegation from the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) also participated and provided support for several of the scientific experts; while a representative from the International Organization of the Flavour Industry (IOFI) was also present to share information on issues related to the risk assessment and risk management of flavourings in foods. Among the outcomes from the workshop discussions was the decision to explore the development of a common ASEAN guideline on the safety assessment and use of food additives and flavouring, as well as the development of an ASEAN risk profile for aflatoxins in peanuts, which could serve as a reference to guide future harmonization of aflatoxin standards in the region.


ASEAN Risk Assessment Centre for Food Safety to be Established in Malaysia
ASEAN Health Ministers formally endorsed the establishment of the ASEAN Risk Assessment Centre (ARAC) at the recently concluded 12th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting on September 15-19, 2014, in Hanoi, Vietnam. The purpose of the ARAC is to serve as the coordination body for the implementation of food safety risk assessment activities within ASEAN, based on the requests of ASEAN Member States as well as ASEAN Working Groups dealing with food safety and standards issues that would require the use of scientific risk assessment to support decision making. To support the operation of the ARAC, the EU through its ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE) program, also recently organized a study tour for ASEAN delegates to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The ARAC will be overseen by the ASEAN Expert Group on Food Safety and the secretariat of the ARAC will be based at the Food Safety and Quality Division of the Ministry of Health of Malaysia.

Generally Recognized As Safe: New Developments 
The Grocery Manufacturer's Association (GMA) recently announced an industry-led initiative to modernize the process for making Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) determinations for food substances and ingredients that are added to food in the USA. Key components of this new initiative include: 1) The development of Publicly Available Standard (PAS) for GRAS determinations that will provide clear guidance to the industry for conducting transparent safety assessment of food ingredients that is based on a science-based framework; 2) The establishment of a database listing all GRAS assessments conducted by the food industry that will be made available to the US FDA; and 3) The expansion of the GMA curriculum on GRAS education and training programs to increase capability of scientists responsible for assessing GRAS status of ingredients. The existing process for making GRAS determinations had previously been critically assessed and reviewed by the US Government Accountability Office as well as non-governmental organizations such as the Pew Charitable Trust.


ILSI North America Session on Threshold of Toxicological Concern at IAFP 2014
The ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food and Chemical Safety supported a session on "Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) - A Pragmatic Approach to Determine the Risk of a Chemical Substance of Unknown Toxicity" at the recent IAFP Annual Meeting 2014 in Indianapolis, USA. The session provided an overview on the uses of the TTC concept in supporting the assessment of safety of chemicals present at very low levels in food, such as for flavourings, packaging migrants and contaminants. Four presentations were shared at the session, which are now available on the ILSI Global YouTube Channel or through the links below:
1) Introduction to Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC)
    Dr. Mitchell Cheeseman, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
2) Application and Growth of the Use of TTC in Flavor Industry
    Dr. Sean Taylor, International Organization of the Flavor Industry
3) Applicability of TTC Approaches to Chemical Substances
    Dr. Richard Canady, ILSI Center for Risk Science Innovation and Application
4) Regulatory Overview: What's Next for TTC?
    Dr. Penelope Rice, US Food and Drug Administration


Southeast Asian Association for Food Protection
The Southeast Asian Association for Food Protection (SEA AFP) has recently been established in August 2014 as an Affiliate Association of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) after receiving its Charter at the IAFP 2014 Annual Meeting.  The office holders of the newly set up SEA AFP include Dr. Hyun-Gyun Yuk, National University of Singapore (President), Dr. Ratih Dewanti-Hariyadi, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia (Vice-President), Mr. Keng Ngee Teoh, ILSI Southeast Asia Region, Singapore (Secretary), Dr. Alvin Lee, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA (Treasurer), and Mr. Matthew Turner, 3M Asia Pacific (Delegate).


CCFA Updates Guidelines on Simple Evaluation of Food Additive Intake

At its 46th Meeting in March 2014 in Hong Kong, China, the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) agreed to the revision of the Codex Guidelines for the Simple Evaluation of Food Additive Intake (CAC/GL 3-1989), which has subsequently been adopted by the 37th Codex Alimentarius Commission. The purpose of the revised Codex Guidelines is to provide a tool that can be used by national governments to conduct a simple evaluation of dietary exposure to food additives, using the Theoretical Maximum Daily Intake (TMDI) and Estimated Daily Intake (EDI) methods. The draft text of the revised Guidelines can currently be found in the appendixes of the report of the 46th CCFA Meeting, which can be found here. A presentation relating to the revised guidelines was also shared at the International Symposium on Safety and Uses of Food Additives, which was organized by the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety in conjunction with the 46th CCFA Meeting. 


November 4

8th Scientific Seminar on Food Innovation/Renovation for Healthier Choices
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  

November 11
Seminar on Vitamin D in Nutrition and Health

Hanoi, Vietnam   

November 14-15
IUMS Outreach Program on Food Safety and Conference on Mycotoxin
Yogyakarta, Indonesia


November 19-21
MERLION Metabolomics Workshop
Click here for details

November 20-22

ACNEM Training on Primary Modules on Nutritional and Environmental Medicine
Melbourne, Australia

November 22
Seminar on Scientific Substantiation of Claims
Bali Indonesia (Pre-CCNFSDU Event)

November 26-28
Nutrition Society of Australia 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting 
Hobart, Australia

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