A Government White Paper has set out plans to create a radical independent body responsible for overseeing food safety.
This body will have a profound effect on all aspects of food production from farming to packaging. The paper, The Food Standards Agency: A Force for Change
, highlights the importance of protecting consumer interests in every aspect of food safety.
Agriculture minister, Dr Jack Cunningham said: “The food standards agency will be independent of government, the food industry or any other producer interests, and play a major part in building consumer confidence in food safety.”
Some key responsibilities of the new body will be to:
• Monitor the safety and standards of all food for human consumption.
• Commission scientific research and develop new policies.
• Co-ordinate and monitor the standards of food law enforcement.
• Advise the public, ministers and the food industry.
“We have proposed fundamental changes to food safety in this country,” said Cunningham.
He added: “The new agency will always place protection of public health at the top of its priorities. The agency will be able to change Government policies, be free to make its advice and findings public and have the power to oversee and influence the work of other organisations.”