Food Standards Agency
FSA Chair reaffirms commitment to highest food safety standards after EU Exit
Food Standards Agency (FSA) Chair Heather Hancock has reassured consumers that food safety standards will not be reduced after the UK leaves the EU. Her comments were made at the FSA’s quarterly Board meeting yesterday.
During the meeting, the Board also reiterated the principles for EU Exit which they set 18 months ago. These were to:
- ensure public health is protected as effectively as it is today
- maintain public confidence in the regulatory regime, including protecting the FSA’s reputation for openness and independence
- minimise disruption for consumers and industry
- give consumers as unified a regulatory system as possible across the UK
The FSA Board confirmed the FSA has made the necessary preparations for maintaining protection for public health and consumers wider interests in food. Additionally, they said the regulatory regime, designed by the department for life outside the EU, will set the global standard for operating with openness and transparency.
Heather Hancock yesterday said:
‘Public trust in food is vital and transparency drives trust. After we leave the EU, the public will continue to know what decisions we are taking and what our recommendations are. They will see the science and evidence base and have confidence that the FSA will continue to put the consumer first, so that we all have safe food, and food we can trust.’
The Board confirmed that the FSA had delivered, a full and complete replacement regulatory regime for food and feed safety, and that the department is prepared for the immediate demands of EU Exit.
They thanked officials across the FSA and recognised the vital contribution from colleagues across Government including Defra and DHSC. Defra is responsible for creating the new import notification scheme on which the FSA will rely, and Health Ministers have led the legislative process. The Board also recognised the support received across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, at national and local government level, as well as the benefits of close collaboration with industry leaders to reach the current state of operational readiness.
The full agenda and Board papers are available on the FSA website. A recording of the Board meeting will be available later in the week.
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