20 October 1998
Anger at delay in setting-up food agency

THE Government yesterday faced criticism from a senior Labour backbencher over its decision to delay the setting up of a Food Standards Agency (FSA).

David Clark, the former cabinet office minister who drew up plans for the agency, said he was disappointed by the decision.

Legislation to set up the agency has been pulled from this months Queens Speech after lobbying from the food industry and supermarket chains.

The Guardian says the decision was taken because of a row over who should pay for it – the taxpayer or the food industry.

The industry was concerned that such an agency would attempt to get involved in issues such as nutritional advice.

The Ministry of Agriculture said the FSA would be set up when parliamentary time allowed.