Some enlightenment on the vexed future of the Food Standards Agency has just come my way. It will stay, but be shorn of many of its powers. Here’s today’s ministerial statement on the subject:
Food Standards Agency in England. The Government recognises the important role of the Food Standards Agency in England, which will continue to be responsible for food safety. The Food Standards Agency will remain a non-ministerial department reporting to Parliament through Health ministers.
In England, nutrition policy will become a responsibility of the Secretary of State for Health. Food labelling and food composition policy, where not related to food safety, will become a responsibility of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
In effect, these changes will disembowel the FSA. Expect substantial cuts in its £135m annual budget and its 2,000-strong staff.