Food Law News - UK - 2011

FSA News Item, 13 July 2011

REGULATIONS - Agency Board response to farming task force

Yesterday’s open Board meeting discussed the Food Standards Agency’s response to the Macdonald Farming Regulation Task Force Report and the recommendations that relate to the FSA.

The independent Farming Regulation Task Force, chaired by Richard Macdonald, published its report on 17 May 2011. The task force remit, from an industry perspective, was to identify ways to reduce the regulatory burden on farmers and food processors through a review of relevant regulations and their implementation, and to advise on how best to achieve a risk-based system of regulation while maintaining high environmental, welfare and safety standards.

Of the task force’s 200 recommendations, 19 are addressed directly to the FSA. The Board agreed substantially with all but one of the recommendations: many of which, such as the changes to Dairy Hygiene inspection, have already been implemented. Board members also challenged Mr Macdonald to produce and publish more of his evidence for his recommendations.

The Board rejected, at this time, the recommendation to set up a group to consider the provision of meat inspection services by third parties. However, members asked the executive to bring a report to the September Board meeting on the evidence and issues that would help determine when and whether such a group could be usefully convened.

The Board also agreed that, as an independent non-ministerial department, the FSA should submit a separate submission on the task force report to Defra , which is coordinating the Government response. Defra would then handle this in parallel with the Government’s response.

The Board meeting agenda, papers and a video of the discussion, along with a video of a pre-meeting briefing, can be found at the links below.

The meeting also discussed the Chief Scientist Report, and Professor Colin Blakemore’s General Advisory Committee on Science report on science in the Agency and the work of his committee. Both reports can be found at the appropriate links below.

Also available on this site: Pre-meeting briefing on the Macdonald Farming Regulation Task Force Report

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