Singapore Food Agency
Singapore Food Agency
Consultation Period:
15 Oct 2020 - 20 Nov 2020
Status:
Closed - Summary of Responses

Consultation Outcome

RESPONSES TO COMMENTS RECEIVED FROM THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE FOOD REGULATIONS REGARDING GENERAL LABELLING REQUIREMENTS FOR PREPACKAGED FOOD PRODUCTS

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) initiated a public consultation exercise for the period 15 October 2020 to 20 November 2020. Feedback was sought from stakeholders on the proposed changes to the labelling requirements for prepacked food sold in Singapore, under the following regulations of the Singapore Food Regulations.

a. Regulation 5 – General requirements for labelling
b. Regulation 6 – Exemptions from regulation 5
c. Regulation 9 – Prohibition on false or misleading statements, etc., on labels
d. Regulation 9B – Limitations on making particular statements or claims on labels

SFA received a total of 40 responses. Respondents were generally supportive of the proposed amendments. SFA’s responses to the matters raised by respondents are tabulated in Table A as appended.

SFA appreciates the time taken by stakeholders to submit feedback and comments which would contribute to the decision-making process. Following this consultation, SFA will review the proposed amendments, taking into consideration the comments received.

We would like to encourage all food industry members to actively participate in future consultation.

Detailed Description

CORRECTION NOTICE

Please refer to the Revised Consultation paper on general labelling requirements for prepackaged food for reference.

INTRODUCTION

i. SFA would like to seek views from food business operators selling prepacked food products to consumers in retail markets including online stores in Singapore, on the proposed changes to the labelling requirements for prepacked food. 

ii. Food labels and advertisement are direct means for sellers to communicate product information to buyers. Food label also allows the consumers to make safe and well-informed choices about the food they consume.

iii. SFA is reviewing the labelling requirements of prepacked food products to better facilitate the traceability and the import and export of prepacked food, as well as to enable consumers make informed choices at point of purchase and before consuming the prepacked food. 

iv. When reviewing labelling requirements for prepacked food products sold in Singapore, SFA takes reference from international standards established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission1 (Codex), specifically the following:

a. General Standard for the labelling of prepackaged foods (CXS 1-1985) (hereafter known as “GSLPF”)
b. Codex General Guidelines on Claims (CAC/GL 1-1979 (CXG 1-1979))
c. Codex Standard for Foods for Special Dietary Use for Persons Intolerant to Gluten (CXS 118-1979)

SFA also takes into consideration factors like Singapore’s local food consumption patterns and local food trade (i.e. importing country with small market).

v. As part of the review, SFA proposes to amend the labelling requirements for prepacked food in following regulations under the Singapore Food Regulations (hereafter known as “SFR”). 

a. Regulation 5 – General requirements for labelling
b. Regulation 6 – Exemptions from regulation 5
c. Regulation 9 – Prohibition on false or misleading statements, etc., on labels
d. Regulation 9B – Limitations on making particular statements or claims on labels

vi. The labelling requirements under the SFR are applied on prepacked food products for sale in Singapore. This includes prepacked food products sold directly to consumers but does not apply to food that are weighed, counted or measured in the presence of the purchaser and food that are loosely packed in the retailer’s premises. It also does not apply to prepacked food products packed in non-retail containers that are supplied to food businesses for further use. 

vii. The following table summarises the types of prepacked food products that is within the scope of this consultation. 

Table

viii. This consultation paper is divided into 4 parts (Parts A, B, C and D), with 9 questions. SFA invites views and comments on the proposed amendments to the SFR on general labelling requirements for prepacked food products. Please provide your response to the consultation paper using the response sheet in Annex I

ix. All submissions should be clearly and concisely written and should provide a reasoned explanation for any proposed revisions. Submission must reach SFA no later than 6.00pm, 20 November 2020 through email at: neo_mui_lee@sfa.gov.sg; tan_yi_ling@sfa.gov.sg.


1The Codex Alimentarius Commission is the international food standards body established by the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Health Organization. Codex standards and texts aim at protecting consumers’ health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade. The standards are developed based on consensus from its member countries and observers (including consumer groups), with advice from scientific experts. The standards are recognised as reference standards for international trade under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS Agreement) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). WTO members who wish to apply stricter food safety measures than those set by Codex are required to justify these measures.