04 December 1998
Food Standards Agency this session?

LEGISLATION setting up a Food Standards Agency is likely to be introduced into Parliament this session following the agreement on the handling of House of Lords reform.

The agency had been put back because of lack of parliamentary time.

John Prescott, the deputy prime minister, said it would be introduced if legislative time was freed up, as a result of the deal to keep 91 hereditary peers in the Lords during the interim stage of the reform.

The agency was left out from the Queens Speech after a dispute between the Treasury and the Ministry of Agriculture over funding.

The Treasury was said to be pressing for the £100 million annual running costs of the agency to be met by a £100 levy on shops and restaurants, but the ministry has argued for it to be paid out of general taxation.