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Changes To Food Standards Agency

UK - Public confidence in food safety issues will be protected, as the Government confirmed its intention to retain the Food Standards Agency (FSA) with a renewed focus on food safety.

The FSA in England will focus on its core remit of food safety policy and enforcement. 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 non-safety-related food labelling and food composition policies in England.

The FSA was established as a non-ministerial Government Department in 2000. Its primary purpose was to secure food safety and provide vital advice to Government and to the public; a role that the Government believes must remain independent.

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.”

This decision has been supported by Dairy UK. Director General Jim Begg said: “The Prime Minister’s decision on the future of the Food Standards Agency is a step in the right direction.

“Dairy UK supports the retention of a focus on food safety for the FSA in England. It has dealt with very well with this area over the past decade.

“We support shifting the responsibility for nutrition back to the Department of Health. I believe it is better to have all aspects of the population’s health and wellbeing within the same department.

"Of course, what we need now is clarity on how all these areas work across the devolved administrations of the UK. Companies operating nationwide need a consistent approach from government - that’s obvious. So we’ll be talking to the Scots, the Northern Irish and the Welsh to understand their thinking on this.”

the Fish Site Editor

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