In June 2012 Scottish Ministers agreed to create a new food body for Scotland. This will be an independent, evidence-based and transparent body to carry out the functions presently delivered in Scotland by the UK-wide Food Standards Agency. These are food safety and standards, feed safety and standards, nutrition, food labelling, meat inspection policy and operational delivery.
A public consultation on creating a new food body was carried out between February and May 2013 which asked for suggestions to widen this group of functions further.
The responses were independently analysed and the Scottish Government has set out its conclusions in The Scottish Government’s Response to ‘A Healthier Scotland: Consultation on Creating a New Food Body’ .
The new food body will:
- Make sure food in Scotland is safe to eat
- Improve the diet and nutrition of people in Scotland
- Be an effective and proportionate regulator, supporting the Scottish food and drink industry in growing its strong, international reputation for safe, quality food
- Be more efficient and more responsive to Scottish circumstances
The decision to create a new body followed changes made at UK level which split up responsibility for food standards and the subsequent recommendations of the Scudamore review (Future arrangements to secure food standards and safety in Scotland) in 2012 which was commissioned by the Scottish Government.
Following the horsemeat food fraud scandal in early 2013, Ministers asked Professor Scudamore to convene another Expert Advisory Group to make recommendations on lessons learned. Many of these recommendations will be taken forward by the new food body.
Ministers are preparing a Bill to create the new food body and transfer functions to it. They intend to introduce the Bill in the Scottish Parliament in early 2014.