Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - UK - 2020

Food Standards Scotland News, 13 August 2020

ADMINISTRATION - Food Standards Scotland responds to UK Government Internal Market White Paper

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has today (Thursday, August 13) made public its response to the UK Government’s Internal Market White Paper proposals.

Ross Finnie Chair of Food Standard ScotlandRoss Finnie, FSS’s Chair, said:

“There is a need for clarity as to how the Internal Market will operate post Brexit, but  FSS’s primary concern is related to 'how' the outcomes are intended to be delivered.

“FSS was established as an arms-length body, independent from Ministers, to ensure transparency in food safety and standards, and in advice on diet and nutrition which should not be overly influenced and constrained by bias towards industry promotion, nor concern of monetary costs of regulatory intervention.

“From that perspective we do not think the interests of consumers can or should be defined by cost alone, not least because Governments have always made interventions in the market where they have been deemed to be in the best interests of consumers.

“Lessons from the past, such as the BSE scandal and previous major food poisoning outbreaks clearly demonstrate the danger of a “business costs only” approach.  Those lessons must not be forgotten or conveniently ignored.

“Creating a new UK organisation to adjudicate on market interventions in the consumers’ interests when it doesn’t have food law expertise with a sole focus on cost, risks replicating expensive historical mistakes.

“All devolved administrations including bodies like FSS, worked with the UK Government to develop UK wide Frameworks.  At no point has legislative underpinning been identified as necessary. The arguments on the limitations do not support legislation as the answer, nor are they arguments to undermine current devolved competence.

“FSS understood the purpose of the Frameworks to be to work on a four countries basis and an assessment of other legitimate factors in addition to food safety and standards to be a key part of any four country policy analysis.

“We don’t believe there is a need for the proposals in the White Paper. Frameworks should be allowed to proceed so it can become clear where they may not be working and, where by agreement, a different approach could be considered based on actual evidence of the ineffectiveness of Frameworks.”

Letter: UK INTERNAL MARKET WHITE PAPER and Response: Food Standards Scotland (FSS) analysis of UK Government (UKG) White Paper: UK Internal Market

These two documents are available on this site (click on images). A copy of the White Paper is also available - see related news item: 16 July 2020 UK internal market white paper.

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