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The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and the country’s Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) have issued a new draft, the Food Safety and Security Bill (FSSB).

The FSSB proposes a new category for novel foods, named ‘Defined Food,’ and new requirements for pre-market approval of these foods or ingredients.


The Cell Base first reported on the proposed bill in November, when Singapore’s Minister for sustainability and the environment, Grace Fu, said that: “The bill will provide greater legal clarity on the regulatory framework for new food innovations, such as novel food and gene-edited crops. We will also – in consultation with the industry – look into enhancing the requirements on food safety systems and processes.”


Under the FSSB, novel foods would be a sub-category of ‘Defined Food’, alongside genetically modified foods, all of which are already subject to pre-market approval but would now need to meet additional regulatory requirements before being imported or sold within Singapore.


Singapore is home to many alt-protein start-ups and was the first country to approve the sale of cell-based meat when it granted regulatory clearance to Good Meat’s cell-based chicken products in 2020. The move cemented the nation’s reputation as a hotbed of food-tech innovation with a supportive government.


A ‘defined food’ is a food that consists of or has as an ingredient a novel food in respect of which no pre-market approval is granted; consists of or has as an ingredient a genetically modified food in respect of which no pre-market approval is granted; or is, consists of or has as an ingredient, in any form (whether whole or in parts and whether fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, smoked, salted or in brine, or as flour) an insect-like species which is not a catalogued insect-like species.


The Singapore Government expects the FSSB to strengthen the company’s food safety and security regime, to better protect consumers and safeguard its food supply resilience.

The FSSB also proposes new guidelinesto formalise and improve the management of Singapore’s current novel food application system, which enable companies to obtain pre-market approval for cell-based meat and fermentation-based and insect-derived proteins.


The FSA will provide specific instructions on how to submit pre-market approval applications in the future.


Other proposed requirements in the draft would frame how the approval is granted, how long it remains valid and the process for cancelling or transferring it. The bill would also establish penalties, such as imposing strict liability on individuals who supply food that requires pre-approval but fail to obtain it.


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Singapore Food Agency proposes revision of novel food approvals

Phoebe Fraser

13 May 2024

Singapore Food Agency proposes revision of novel food approvals

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