Views on the creation of a new food standards body are being sought by the Health and Sport Committee as they begin scrutiny of the Food (Scotland) Bill.
The creation of a new body, Food Standards Scotland, is being proposed which will replace the Food Standards Agency Scotland. The Bill, if passed, would give greater powers to the proposed new body than the current Food Standards Agency and also establish new enforcement arrangements.
Convener of the Committee, Duncan McNeil MSP said:
“Whilst on the face of it this proposed legislation may seem an administrative change, at the heart of this is something quite fundamental, ensuring the safety of the food that we eat.
“This will significantly change the current arrangements, giving a new standalone Scottish agency more enforcement powers and responsibilities over diet and nutrition policy. So it’s important that we look at the detail to ensure this proposed agency is fit for purpose.”
Deputy Convener of the Committee, Bob Doris MSP said:
“Our Committee is looking for a diverse range of views as this legislation will have an impact across the food chain. From the farmers who grow our food, to the fishermen that catch it, to the manufacturers who produce it, to the retailers that sell it and finally to the consumers whose plate it ends up on.
“It’s vital that our Committee hears a diverse range of views on the implications of this new body and how it will operate across the food chain from farm to fork.”
The Committee would like views on the following areas:
- The merits of creating a stand-alone body rather than enhancing the current Food Standard Agency Scotland arrangements;
- The scope of the objectives and functions of Food Standards Scotland (FSS), including whether and how they could support Scotland’s sustainable development;
- The proposed administrative and governance arrangements for FSS;
- The proposed powers of FSS;
- The likely efficacy of the new provisions related to food information to prevent food fraud (such as the recent horsemeat incident);
- The provisions set out in the Bill for non-compliance with food safety and standards.
If you would like to contribute your views on the Food (Scotland) Bill please send these electronically to [email protected] by 7 May.
Health & Sport Committee @SP_HealthSport