Government Bill to create new Scottish food safety body introduced

Plans to create a new food body for Scotland were unveiled as a Bill began its passage through the Scottish Parliament.

The Food (Scotland) Bill, sets out objectives for the new public body which will replace the current UK organisation, the Food Standards Agency.

Outlined in the Bill, the key aims of Food Standards Scotland (FSS) will be to:
• Make sure food in Scotland continues to be safe to eat
• Advise on how to improve the diet and nutrition of people in Scotland
• Be more efficient and more responsive to Scottish circumstances
• Be an effective and proportionate regulator, supporting the Scottish food and drink industry in growing its strong, international reputation for safe, quality food
• Support Scotland’s food and drink policy

In launching the Bill Falkirk West MSP and Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said:

“Scotland’s new food safety body will be uniquely placed to focus on Scottish priorities and the Bill published today outlines what we will be expecting FSS to achieve.

“While Scottish businesses were not responsible for last year’s horsemeat scandal we have included extra measures in the Bill so consumers can be even more assured that targeting fraudulent behaviour throughout the food supply chain remains a high priority for us in the future.”

“The body will be given specific enforcement powers to seize food that does not meet food standards or labelling rules and it will also be compulsory to report non-compliance with food standards regulations, which cover food fraud.

“FSS will also be tasked with advising on how we improve people’s diet and nutrition – playing a key role in progressing our vision of a healthier Scotland. We hope the body will be a trusted source of food safety advice to the Government, led from within Scotland and with the confidence and ambition to ensure Scottish food continues to be safe and healthy to eat.”