Key policy areas to be switched from the Food Standards Agency to other departments
The government has announced that the Department of Health (DoH) will take over nutrition policy from the FSA, whilst the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will take control of food labelling. The FSA will focus on food safety.
Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith says: “The Food Standards Agency has revolutionised the way food issues are handled in UK, so we’re pleased today’s announcement ensures it can continue to independently monitor food safety. Unfortunately, some* issues that would be best handled by the FSA have been moved to other departments. With these changes the government must ensure the interests of consumers remain at the heart of food policy.”
* This includes responsibility for labelling and standards issues that don’t relate to safety such as consumer choice over the use of new food technologies (such as GM, food from cloned animals and nano foods), the amount of water in meat products and broader labelling clarity which will now be covered by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Which? will be monitoring the changes closely to ensure:
- That a joined up evidence-based approach to food policy continues
- Transparency and independence are maintained to protect consumer choice.