The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has approved two proposals to change how certain “regulated food products” come to market.

The reforms, agreed upon by the FSA yesterday (20 March) will affect how certain foods such as cultivated meat, products made through precision fermentation and new additives can become available to the public.

The current authorisation process requires a “statutory instrument” to be laid before new products can be placed on the market. The procedure was inherited from the EU and the FSA said “significant change” is needed to “streamline” the process.

The first proposal is the removal of the requirement that some products previously authorised as safe must go through a reauthorisation process periodically, regardless of whether evidence on safety has changed.

The second is a proposed change to allow authorisations to come into force via a new official register, rather than by secondary legislation.

However, the FSA stressed it will still conduct an “evidence-based” assessment of new products’ safety and nutritional value before they can be sold in the UK, and ministers will continue to make final decisions.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Susan Jebb, chair of the FSA, said: “This is a huge opportunity for the FSA to drive benefits for consumers by enabling new and innovative products that we assess as being safe to come to market more quickly. It will set a new way of doing things that will be viewed with real interest by regulators around the world.  
“At the June board meeting we expect to see detailed proposals for the next steps, including how the FSA might further use other regulators’ opinions when assessing risks, and an outline of the potential longer-term structure of the Regulated Products Service.  

Subject to ministerial agreement, the FSA will launch a public consultation for interested parties this spring on the two proposed reforms, with responses set to inform ministers before a final decision in the summer.

The news was welcomed by the Good Food Institute (GFI), a non-profit that advocates for the development of alternative sources of protein.

Linus Pardoe, UK policy manager at GFI’s Europe division, said: “More than two years after reforms were promised to how the UK regulates new alternative proteins, it is positive to see the Food Standards Agency taking sensible measures to modernise its process while continuing to enforce one of the world’s most robust regulatory systems.

“Alternative proteins could be a game-changer in helping the UK achieve its science superpower ambitions and boost food security, and while regulators must play a crucial role in ensuring consumers have confidence in these foods, regulatory frameworks must keep pace with innovation. These reforms are a step in the right direction but much more can be done.”