Research and funding questions for new Scottish food standards body

The creation of a standalone food standards body in Scotland has won support from the Scottish Parliament’s Health Committee, albeit with a fresh request for “greater detail” on two key areas.

While giving their backing to the proposed replacement of the current Food Standards Agency (FSA) in Scotland by a completely separate Food Standards Scotland (FSS), the committee of MSPs has requested “greater detail on the proposed research functions of FSS”. The committee, in a report published today, also wants to know how “these functions will relate to UK-funded research bodies”.

The committee report also highlights “significant opportunities” for FSS to gain from European funding streams, followed by a request for “more detail in relation to how these funding opportunities can be exploited”.

Committee Convener, Duncan McNeil MSP (pictured), said:  “Scotland’s food and drink industry has gained an international reputation for quality, so the creation of this body will have a vital role in ensuring that consumers have trust in the safety of the food they eat. 

“The proposed legislation will also give the new organisation greater power to administer sanctions to those breaking Scotland’s food law which will ultimately provide reassurance to consumers.” 

Committee Deputy Convener, Bob Doris MSP, added: “Whilst this Bill may seem like an administrative change, in fact, what is being proposed is a new body which will not only be responsible for food safety but also diet and nutrition.  It was clear that all these issues are extremely important in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland and protecting the reputation of Scotland’s food and drink industry. Our Committee agrees that the creation of this new body will be a positive step forward.”  

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