Legal Updates: Cannabis, Poultry Shipping, & GMOs

Second-hand Hemp and Cannabis Smoke Can Now Be Reported As Public Nuisance

Smell or smoke due to inappropriate cannabis, hemp or other plant use can increase risk of illnesses such as lung disease and can negatively impact normal state of living, therefore it can now be reported as a ‘nuisance’ according to Notification 432 from the Ministry of Public Health.

“Cannabis” is defined as a plant of the cannabis family containing psychotropic substances. Whilst “Hemp” is defined as a plant containing psychotropic substances of similar botanical appearance to cannabis, however hemp is lighter in colour with more elongated leaves.

This notification will be enforced beginning on June 17th 2022 (B.E. 2565), the date of its publication in the Government Gazette.


Poultry Shipping Ban Extended for Countries with Active H5N1 Virus Circulation

Several notices from the Department of Livestock Development published in February of 2022 (B.E. 2565) are set to expire this month. These notices halted the importation of birds, chickens, ducks, and geese, including: carcasses, live birds, eggs for breeding and semen, from the United States of America, the Netherlands, the Republic of India, the Republic of Poland, and the following counties in the UK: Suffolk, Devon, Cambridgeshire, Somerset and Derbyshire for 90 days. As these notices have expired but the avian influenza type H5N1 is still widespread in those regions, these notices will be extended for another 90 days beginning June 10th, 2022 (B.E. 2565).


GMO Products Now Require Label: Ministry of Public Health Updates Labelling Requirements

According to Notification 432 from the Ministry of Public Health No. 432, food obtained from genetically modified microorganisms (GMO) including plants, animals or microbes intended for human consumption will now need to include a statement indicating that the ingredients were genetically modified. This is a reversal of previous labelling requirements and therefore also repeals Notification 251 (B.E. 2545 (2002)). This notification doesn’t apply in cases where: 1) evidence is provided showing that no genetically modified ingredients were used in the manufacturing process, 2) there is no trace of GMO remaining in the final product, 3) the food is a protein derived from genetic modification and used as a processing aid, or 4) the food is made by small producers selling products directly to consumers.

Foods that have already been manufactured or imported before the date this notification goes into effect may still be sold for two years after the enforcement date. This notification will be enforced one hundred and eighty days from the date of its publication in the Government Gazette. The notification was published June 17th, 2022 (B.E. 2565).

New Standards for Labelling GMO Foods

Products containing a minimum of 5% of genetically modified ingredients will be detected during testing and must be labelled. All statements must be clearly legible, in a bold face front, well contrasted and of a size relative to overall label size. Additionally, a yellow triangle symbol with “GMO” in black characters or a reference to a website or app that contains this information may be included. Labelling requirements differ depending on whether the GMO acts as the major ingredient, derivative or as the entire product:

✓   When a GMO product is a major ingredient, the label must include the words “genetically modified” (“ดัดแปรพันธุกรรม”) and the name of the food.

✓   When product contains GMO derivatives, the label must include the words “genetically modified” (“ดัดแปรพันธุกรรม”) alongside the ingredient name.

✓   For products composed entirely of genetically modified plants, animals or microbes, the label must include the statement: “[Name of Food/Product] manufactured from (ผลิตจาก) genetically modified [Type of Plant/Animal/Microorganism]”.

In order to prevent misunderstandings, the following phrases may not be displayed:

✓   “Genetically Modified Food Free” (“ปลอดอาหารดักแปรพันธุกรรม”)

✓   “Not Genetically Modified Food” (“ไม่ใช่อาหารดัดแปรพันธุกรรม”)

✓   “Containing No Ingredients of Genetically Modified Food” (“ไม่มีส่วนประกอบของอาหารดัดแปรพันธุกรรม”)

✓   “Genetically Modified Ingredients Sorted Out or Separated” (“มีการคัดหรือแยกส่วนประกอบที่มีการดัดแปรพันธุกรรมออก”)

Liabilities for Non-Compliance with the PDPA

Un-Masking & the Relaxation of COVID-19 Health Measures

Businesses Benefit as Customs Department Extends Covid-19 Measures