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July 20, 2010

UK: Food watchdog FSA loses nutrition, labelling roles

The Food Standards Agency, the UK food watchdog, will lose its remit over nutrition and labelling after the coalition government confirmed it would revamp the agency.

The Food Standards Agency, the UK food watchdog, will lose its remit over nutrition and labelling after the coalition government confirmed it would revamp the agency.

The UK’s Department of Health (DoH) said this morning (20 July) that the FSA will have a “renewed focus” on food safety in the country.

The announcement came after reports last week claimed the FSA was set to be disbanded.

Responsibility over nutrition and labelling will switch to the DoH and the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The DoH will oversee nutrition policy in England, while Defra will become responsible for country-of-origin labelling and “various other non-safety-related food labelling and food composition policies” in the country.

However, the FSA will keep responsibility for nutrition and labelling policy in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

“It’s absolutely crucial for the Food Standards Agency to continue providing independent expert advice to people about food safety. But bringing nutrition policy into the Department makes sense. It will enable a clear, consistent public health service to be created,” UK Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said.

“I believe – in the-long term – we’ll have a clearer and less bureaucratic system for public health. The end result will focus on turning expert advice and support into better health.”

Some 70 jobs will move from the FSA to the DoH, while 25 posts will switch from the agency to Defra.

 

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