FSA to focus on food safety
The UK coalition government has put an end to intense speculation about the future of the FSA by revealing that it will be retained – but with a renewed focus on food safety.
The Department of Health will become responsible for nutrition policy in England, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will become responsible for country of origin labelling and various other types of food labelling not related to food safety, and food composition policies in England.
Commenting on the news, Lord Rooker, Chair of the FSA, said: “Food safety and hygiene have always been at the heart of what the agency does. They are our top priorities in protecting the interests of consumers.”
Welcoming health secretary Andrew Lansley’s (right) decision to clarify the future role of the Food Standards Agency, Melanie Leech, Food and Drink
Federation’s director general, says: “As the voice of the UK food and drink manufacturing sector, we believe it is important to maintain an independent food safety regulator and fully support the decision by the government to retain the Food Standards Agency
“The FSA has helped to create an environment in which public confidence in the food they eat has grown significantly in recent years and it makes sense to build on that by focusing the agency’s future activities on safety and hygiene issues. We look forward to working closely with our regulator to ensure that we maintain these high levels of consumer trust.
“We also support the decision to move responsibility for nutrition, and other food policy issues, back into government departments. This should lead to clearer and more consistent policy making, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort across Whitehall.”
The agency currently employs 2,000 staff and spends £135 million (€161m) pounds a year.