Food Law News - UK - 2010

FSA Letter (ENF/E/10/045), 30 November 2010

ADMINISTRATION - Transfer of Work on Food Labelling & Standards: Policy split between FSA and Defra; and Contact Points for Nutrition Work transferred to Department of Health

Following the recent Machinery of Government changes I thought it would be helpful to clarify the role of the Food Standards Agency in relation to food labelling and food composition, where this is not related to food safety.

From September 2010, Defra became responsible for policy on labelling and for non-food safety issues. The Agency continues to lead on food safety aspects of labelling and related enforcement issues, and will retain the current arrangements for liaison with food authorities in relation to food law enforcement (e.g. the Food Law Code of Practice), including now acting as a link for work that transfers to Defra.

The details of these changes are included in the Annex 1 below.

In England the policy on nutrition issues has now transferred to Department of Health. This includes regulations on food supplements, health claims and dietetic foods (parnuts). The current arrangements for liaison with food authorities in relation to enforcement of these issues will remain and any enforcement queries should be passed to the Agency. We will act as a link for this work that transfers to the Department of Health. If you have any queries regarding the enforcement of the legislation associated with these issues, please contact the Agency.

Enforcement Officers are encouraged to discuss specific enquiries in the first instance within their local authority or food group. Any unresolved queries can then be registered on the Food Standards and Labelling Community of Practice, which has been established by LG Regulation to enable local authorities to share experiences, promote best practice and resolve issues or queries. Any outstanding queries, or concerns can be escalated to LG Regulation for discussion with the Agency.

No doubt it will take some time for the new arrangements to bed in, but in the meantime if colleagues have any questions about the new arrangements, or would like to refer enforcement issues to the Agency please contact us through the food standards e-mail address:

Annex 1

Transfer of Work on Food Labelling & Standards:Policy split between FSA and Defra

Food Standards Agency responsibility for food safety aspects of labelling, covering:

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra will continue to cover labelling elements of its existing portfolio such as welfare, marketing standards and eco labelling. It will, additionally, now deal with labelling where this does not relate to food safety or nutrition. This will cover:

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