The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) proposes the following amendments to the labelling requirements for prepacked food.
A. To amend Regulation 5 of the Food Regulations on general requirements for labelling of prepacked food to:
i. require the declaration of lot identification that identifies the producing factory and the production lot of the food;
ii. require the declaration of directions of use or handling of food where incorrect manner of use or handling of the food would render the food unsafe or unsuitable;
iii. require the name of the country of origin of the food to be accompanied by suitable words (e.g. "Country of origin:"; "Product of"; "Manufactured in", etc) and for prepacked food manufactured in Singapore to be declared with the country of origin;
iv. amend the requirements for declaration of statement of ingredients as follows:
a) mandate the declaration of statement of ingredients under an appropriate heading (e.g. "Ingredients"); and for the ingredients to be listed in descending order based on the ingoing weight at the time of manufacture.
b) mandate the declaration of added water under the statement of ingredients except when:
1. water forms part of an ingredient such as brine, syrup or broth used in a compound food and declared as such in the list of ingredients;
2. water is evaporated in the course of manufacture;
3. water makes up less than 5% of the finished product; and
4. water is used to reconstitute dehydrated ingredients where the amount of water added is equal to the water originally removed in the making of the dehydrated ingredient.
c) exempt the declaration of processing aids.
d) mandate the declaration of presence of any allergen obtained through the use of biotechnology involving a food and ingredients known to cause hypersensitivity to individuals (as listed under Regulation 5(4)(ea)).
e) update the list of permitted general terms under the First Schedule of the Food Regulations and consequentially, to revoke Regulation 6(4).
B. To amend Regulation 6 to exempt food packed in small units, where the largest surface area is less than 10 cm², from the declaration of the following information on the label provided that the information is made accessible to a prospective purchaser through a physical document or a website or other electronic record:
i. statement of ingredients (including declaration of tartrazine, ingredients known to cause hypersensitivity to individuals)
ii. lot identification
iii. statement for food containing aspartame
iv. directions of use or handling of food
C. To amend Regulations 9 and 9A of the Food Regulations to prohibit the use of claims or suggestion in relation to food that implies:
i. that other food is unsafe for consumption;
ii. that an ingredient permitted by these Regulations in food is unsafe for consumption;
iii. the food does not contain a food additive that is not permitted by these Regulations; or
iv. the food does not contain any substance that is prohibited in food.
D. To include a new Regulation 12A for food advertised or sold on online sales platform, to require the declaration of the following information on the sales listing of the prepacked food:
i. Name of food
ii. List of ingredients (including the declaration of tartrazine and food known to cause hypersensitivity)
iii. Net contents and drained weight
iv. Name and address of the Singapore manufacturer, packer, distributor, importer, export or vendor of the food
v. Name of the country of origin
vi. Directions of use or handling of food
E. To include the definition and specific criteria for foods sold as "gluten-free", "naturally gluten-free" and "reduced gluten".